Stacks of 45’s – Jean/The Arrangement

It’s what you might call a kind of an arrangement

When I was young before I had cassettes, the only good way of making a playlist of songs was to stack 45s on the turntable. I would arrange for them to play my favorite songs in my favorite order. These posts are about records I had in my stacks.

I purchased the 45 of “Jean” by Oliver (William Oliver Swofford) in 1969 after I heard it on the radio. It was the theme to the 1969 film adaptation of Dame Muriel Spark’s “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”.

Jean Brodie is played by Maggie Smith who won an Acadamy Award for Best Actress for her role. The song was written by Rod McKuen who also recorded the song. My single was the cover by Oliver and I had never heard the McKuen version.

Earlier in 1969, Oliver had a Hot 100 number 3 with a cover of “Good Morning Starshine” from the movie “Hair“. “Good Morning Starshine” was Oliver’s album title and the next single chosen was “Jean”. It hit number 2 on the charts, held out of a possible number one by The Archies “Sugar, Sugar”.

We had no idea it would be a single. It was a 3/4 ballad in the psychedelic era…it was a beautiful arrangement.

Oliver

My big surprise was when I flipped it over and found “The Arrangement”. It is a psychedelic pop song with a middle-eastern tune. It is a very strange and mysterious song and I have no idea what it is about. I love this song and the B-side easily became my favorite on this record.

The Arrangement – Lyrics

You can go down and visit the bus stop
If you can find the right change or box top
And you know you’ll have a good time
Won’t it be fine?
I will be glad to give you these fine clothes
If you can show me how fast your fortune grows
You’ll be smart and wear a smile
You’ll be in style
I’ll look around and find you a nice bowl
If you won’t miss a small piece of your soul
In a crowd, you’ll be at ease
You’ll never sneeze
I’ll look around and find you a nice bowl
If you won’t miss a small piece of your soul
In a crowd, you’ll be at ease
You’ll never sneeze
You’ll never sneeze
You can go down and visit the bus stop
If you can find the right change or box top
And you know you’ll have a good time
Won’t it be fine?
I’ll look around and find you a nice bowl
If you won’t miss a small piece of your soul
In a crowd, you’ll be at ease
You’ll never sneeze
[Whispers]
It’s what you might call a kind of an arrangement
No one need know except you and me
And besides
You’ll never sneeze
Never

Jean Lyrics

Jean, Jean, roses are red
All the leaves have gone green
And the clouds are so low
You can touch them, and so
Come out to the meadow, Jean

Jean, Jean, you’re young and alive
Come out of your half-dreamed dream
And run, if you will, to the top of the hill
Open your arms, bonnie Jean

Till the sheep in the valley come home my way
Till the stars fall around me and find me alone
When the sun comes a-singin’ I’ll still be waitin’

For Jean, Jean, roses are red
And all of the leaves have gone green
While the hills are ablaze with the moon’s yellow haze
Come into my arms, bonnie Jean

(Jean, Jean)
Jean, you’re young and alive!
Come out of your half-dreamed dream
And run, if you will to the top of the hill
Come into my arms, bonnie Jean

Jean

La-la-la-la, etc.

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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