June 15, 2009

"Happy Jack."



I'm listening to "Happy Jack" this morning, mainly because I was just listening to The Beach Boys' "You're So Good to Me" and the "la la la la" in "Good" reminded me of the "la la la la/lap lap lap lap" in "Jack." Then, I realized I'd never been able to hear the lyrics properly in "Happy Jack" and this was my big opportunity to check the lyrics on line. Here. But are those the right words? I always thought Happy Jack was a dog, and I never heard anything about a donkey.

Now, quick! Eat all the strawberry shortcake before the cops come!

11 comments:

NKVD said...

Nice song, silly video. I am glad I got to see the Who back in '68 and '69 - Keith Moon was an interesting drummer, that's for sure.

paul a'barge said...

wow.

those both sucked.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I always thought that Happy Jack was a (non pc alert)slightly retarded adult midget or dwarf who even though he was laughed at and tormented by the rest of the people, especially the kids, on the island; he still retained his happy outlook on life.

I had heard the lyrics as "Happy Jack wasn't tall but he was a man"

They couldn't stop Jack from being happy. la la la la la.

The Who made some very interesting songs with deep meanings that still resonate with us today

The video WAS really retarded. Good GOD were we ALL that stupid in 1968 that we would even think that video was entertaining??

MPorcius said...

I was going to say that I love The Who and that "Happy Jack" is a decent song but this video is feeble, but I guess that has already been covered.

Like Dust Bunny Queen, I have always thought "Happy Jack" was a moron who lived on the beach, and enjoyed life despite being terrorized by hoodlums.

Paul said...

Howlin' Wolf must have had a scornful chuckle over these poofters....

William said...

It's one of those songs where the melody overpowers the lyrics. I have always liked it but never had more than a vague understanding of the lyrics. Happy song, happy lyrics. I just read the lyrics and can say definitively that they add absolutely nothing to my appreciation of the song.....It's hard to find the perfect match of lyrics and melody. Rodgers and Hart did it, but Rodgers and Hammerstein not so much. Weill and Brecht was a marriage made in heaven to progagandize the joys of hell. Weill and Fadiman were pretty good, but it was a marriage made on Broadway. Ira complemented George in a way that complimented both artists' skills.

William said...

Suggestion for a new album: Paul Simon writes new lyrics for some old Bob Dylan tunes and vice versa.

Bob_R said...

Some of Kieth Moon's best work, but it's a challenge to hear it on that video.

oldirishpig said...

It does not pay to listen to the lyrics to rock songs. Once you grow up, they are invariably stupid beyond belief. I treat them just as I do opera: the voice is simply another instrument and there is no real 'meaning' in the sounds. (A parasite's theme song: "Baby, I'll be there to take your hand/Baby, I'll be there to share the land/ That they'll be giving away/ When we all live together/Talking 'bout together now...")

blake said...

He wasn't a donkey. They rode on his head with their furry donkey.

Much clearer.

I figured he was a turtle. A man turtle. Or something.

'cause otherwise why couldn't they hurt him by dropping things on his back?

Hunchback?

dericksch said...

Pete Townshend has said the song is about a "peculiar beachcomber" he remembered from childhood visits to the Isle of Man. From Townshend's description of the fellow, he sounds like someone who might now be called "mentally challenged."

Back in the day donkeys were used to give kids rides along the beach at English seaside resorts--I don't know if this is still true.