Song Of The Day 10/6/2015: Reparata & the Delrons – “When a Teenager Cries”

The Hidden '60s, Part 2 – Not quite ten years into rock and roll’s existence there materialized an apparent obligation to start putting its main demographic, the teenager, through some gloomy situations, whether merely despondent or outright tragic. Teenagers being teenagers, of course, the death ditties were their real preferred outlets, encapsulating the horrifying march of puberty’s progress in worst-case scenarios. These may have been doubly intended as cautionary tales from the adults in charge in collusion with their insurance agents. Nobody talks about the indemnity-entertainment industrial complex anymore. They kept Irwin Allen in business for years.

But they didn’t always have to die; in fact it was generally more realistic and profitable if they lived and just persisted with the sadness. Why go to all the logistical trouble of summoning Lovecraft when Sartre was just as effective? Johnny didn't have to get decapitated in a collision with a semi; he just needed to develop a taste for espresso and re-examination. Reparata & the Delrons’ “Whenever a Teenager Cries” (#60, 1965) is one of the more sweetly empathetic tunes of the teen misery sub-genre. It was written by Ernie Maresca, the co-writer of Dion’s psychological thrillers “The Wanderer” and “Runaround Sue” who just passed away in July. Everything pretty much goes to hell in nicely arranged and lovingly detailed handbasket in this song: "Rain falling from the sky/Bluebirds, they don’t fly/The stars, they’re not so bright/The moon caved in at night/It seems the whole world dies/Whenever a teenager cries. Don’t get me started on how crappy Candyland looks either.

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