#808: 1966, The Mamas and the Papas, Monday, Monday

by Jackie_South on November 25, 2013

Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin’ all of the time

Day seven of our days of the week theme here at Songs To Learn And Sing and, slightly perversely, we are at the start of the week. We started last Tuesday with heartbreak and have ended there too, and whilst some of our picks have been fairly obscure I have gone for a classic from a band that has previously been one of our bigger omissions.

Usually, I am not a massive fan of close harmony singing. Boy bands leave me cold, and a lot of the close harmony stuff (The Beach Boys being the obvious exception) is frankly just glorified barbershop quartet stuff.

But the genius of John Phillips was to do it with two men and two women, giving a variation that is far more interesting and engaging. Monday Monday plays with that vocal contrast along with contrasting, contradictory lyrics to convey a story of dashed hopes and dreams.

Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn’t guarantee
That Monday evening you would still be here with me.

Oh, and there is the fantastic Cass Elliot, adding a deeper female voice to bridge the gap between Michelle Phillips and the two blokes. Cass of course has at least two great rock’n’roll legends attached to her, neither of which are probably true: first, that her vocal range was the result of being hit on the head by a pipe and second that she choked to death on a sandwich.

But when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Killingworth November 26, 2013 at 8:36 am

Close harmony? The Civil Wars every time.

There’s a reason why it took over 800 attempts before SLS alighted on this lot. They were definitely uncool in the late 1960s – thanks for reminding me why…


George_East November 26, 2013 at 11:41 am

It still amuses me that the Civil Wars split up because of irreconcilable musical differences.


Mike Killingworth November 26, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Well, that’s the story that was put around at the time. I still suspect that she made a play for him which he turned down (as elegantly as only a Southern gentleman could, no doubt) – and we all know what happens to men who do that to women, even if their own sanity depends upon it…


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