Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ask Me Why

Please Please Me, Track 6, 1963

Released as the B-side for the title track, "Ask Me Why" was John’s attempt to emulate Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. (In a side note, I really, really thought that Smokey was dead, and was quite startled to see him at the Grammys). They performed the song live frequently, and the single featuring it was released in America TODAY! That is, February 25, 1963, so 46 years ago today. Doesn’t seem so long ago, does it? (link)

I love:
  • The “woo woo woo”s, “aye aye aye"s and all the vocal duplications in general, even in the lyrics “Never never never be blue”
  • John’s voice is beginning to crack, and in this case, it really adds to the heartfelt emotion of the song.
  • The guitar bum bum bum leading up to Miz-Er-Ree!
  • Also, the reference to “Misery,” the second song on the album.

On first glance, “Ask Me Why” seems so earnest, but the reference to “misery” is so well framed, with the guitar build up/intro (I always want to do a little cha-cha-cha there), the song becomes tongue-in-cheek instantly, and the excessive woo-woo-woos can be really appreciated for their silliness. The lyrics to this song don’t really make that much sense to me, anyways. The lady in question tells him things he wants to know? Is she a librarian or a teacher or something? He’s crying tears of joy because of this? Also, no one loves him!

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