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Jan 05

THE FOUR PENNIES – “Juliet”

Popular40 comments • 6,883 views

#169, 23rd May 1964

Genteel, repetitive ballad whose soft, trained vocals and precise lyrics (“reminiscent of you”) initially seem to drape the record in a smothering courtliness. Repeated listens make “Juliet” seem no less quaint, but its charm starts to show through the gauze. Eventually I’ve come to find it soothing, like a lullaby. You could draw a crooked path from this to Mick Jagger’s mock-chivalric oddities, but the Four Pennies let no humour or threat into their world.

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Comments

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  1. 26
    rosie on 29 Jul 2008 #

    There was a childrens TV series called If You Were Me, which followed the fortunes of kids who went on exchanges. A kind of precursor to Wife Swap, if you will. It had a very catchy theme song with the same title sung by Lionel Morton.

    Anybody else remember it? Or am I hallucinating in my old age?

  2. 27
    DJ Punctum on 29 Jul 2008 #

    Even I can’t remember that one, I’m afraid.

  3. 28
    Mark G on 29 Jul 2008 #

    Dimly…

    “If You Were Me, (if you were me)
    and if I were you (if I were you)….”

  4. 29
    wichita lineman on 1 Aug 2008 #

    Re 22. Yes, Toni Arthur is a gen-u-ine witch, too. Hearken The Witches Rune, with (ex) husband Dave Arthur is a properly eerie album. I went to school with their son Jonathan who was a nasty piece of work, a psychological bully. Not that it affected me so much I still remember 30-odd years later… He also had an enviable David Cassidy mane, the bastard!

    Talking of Play School presenters Julie Stevens also made a couple of very nice singles in a similar posh-pop vein to Julie Covington’s The Beautiful Changes.

  5. 30
    wichita lineman on 1 Aug 2008 #

    Re 16 Billy Fury’s highest chart position was with the ok Jealousy in 1961; Jezebel was a Marty Wilde hit from the following year, arguably his best, a raucous update of one of Frankie Laine’s best singles (1951, so pre-chart).

  6. 31
    DJ Punctum on 1 Aug 2008 #

    “Jealousy,” of course…I really am in the grip of incipient Alzheimer’s… :-(

  7. 32
    Billy Smart on 16 Dec 2009 #

    TOTPWatch: The Four Pennies performed Juliet on Top Of The Pops five times. None of the shows survive;

    8 April 1964. Also in the studio that week were; Millie, Peter & Gordon and The Swinging Blue Jeans. Pete Murray was the host.

    22 April 1964. Also in the studio that week were; Millie, Peter & Gordon, The Mojos and The Searchers. Jimmy Saville was the host.

    6 May 1964. Also in the studio that week were; Billy Fury, Millie, The Fourmost and The Merseybeats. David Jacobs was the host.

    13 May 1964. Also in the studio that week were; Cilla Black, Freddie & The Dreamers, Millie and The Fourmost.

    27 May 1964. also in the studio that week were; Billy Fury, Freddie & The Dreamers and The Hollies. Alan Freeman was the host.

  8. 34
    gregorysgal on 27 Jan 2012 #

    in work this week i met the original drummer of the four pennies , he used the stage name of ray davies until kinks ray davies made him use his own , nice man , northern acccent stands out in wales

  9. 35
    Paulito on 28 Jan 2012 #

    On the topic of the most forgotten no. 1s of the 60s: what about “Good Timin'”? Just played it on Youtube and I’m quite sure I’ve never heard it before – unlike “On The Rebound”, one of those tunes I always knew without knowing that I knew it (as Donald Rumsfeld would describe it, an “unknown known”) until its memorable use in ‘An Education’, which prompted me to find out what it was. I wouldn’t describe “Don’t Throw Your Love Away” or “Surrender” as forgotten either; I’ve heard them innumerable times on the radio.

    Other candidates for the award of least remembered 60s chart-topper must surely include “Starry Eyed”, “Do You Mind”, “Diane”, “Get Away” and the covers of “Michelle” and “Ob La Di”.

  10. 36
    Paulito on 28 Jan 2012 #

    As for “Juliet”: it belongs to the same sombre, close harmony folk-pop vein as the Seekers and, like them, sounds very antiquated these days yet retains a certain old-world appeal.

    Considerably more interesting than “Juliet” is the Pennies’ take on Leadbelly’s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” (aka “Black Girl”) – a top 20 hit for them in the same year, and a fairly courageous effort given the song’s dark subject matter and the fact that they were decidedly not a blues band. It starts off similarly solemnly and in a rather awkward, staccato fashion, but develops into a pretty intense, full-blooded workout – these guys mean it, man! Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEDHl9L2BWY

  11. 37
    mick dias on 4 Nov 2012 #

    yes- lionel morton did sing the theme tune to the children’s bbc1 tv show ‘if you were me’- been trying to find the theme or anything to do with this programme for longer than i can remember- but from what i CAN remember, these are some of the lyrics:

    ‘if you were me, see the things i see, do the things i do if i were you
    if you were me, what would you be, if i were you, what would i do’
    followed by a piece played possibly on a kazoo or something like it
    please, could someone somewhere upload this theme or clip onto you tube??!!

  12. 38
    Patrick Mexico on 24 May 2014 #

    A Blackburn number one!!! Only found that out five minutes ago.

    I guess we’ll have to wait till 2010 for the next one from the town where I wasn’t born so much as I fell out, and nobody seemed to notice me.

    Unless I criminally overlooked Blancmange, The Stiffs, The Burn, or :ahem: Selfish Cunt as in “My [frontman Martin Tomlinson’s] dad’s appalled by the name, he refuses to say it.” What a motley crew (for once, even by my low moral standards, no pun intended.)

  13. 39
    lonepilgrim on 18 Mar 2015 #

    this is not a song that I remember from the time or that I can recall from nostalgia type programmes. It does have a strange otherworldly quality about it that for some reason puts me in mind of some of Richard Manuel’s songs from ‘Music from Big Pink’.

  14. 40
    Jonathan Bignell on 4 Mar 2016 #

    Details of the BBC TV show “If You Were Me” here: http://cstonline.tv/if-you-were-me

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