Song Of The Day 5/4/2015: Helen Shapiro – “Keep Away From Other Girls”

Brit Girls of the '60s: Helen Shapiro had a voice that could only be accurately, though no less contritely, be described as “husky.” And she had it when she was a teenager, which she barely was when she started collecting hits in Britain. Songs like “You Don’t Know” and “Walkin’ Back to Happiness” were routine examples of ’60s pop songs, with slightly quirkier arrangements, that have just the slightest bit of identity tension you can only get from temporary androgyny. Personally I like that kind of ambivalence wherever I can get it, unless I’m at the DMV or something.

“Keep Away From Other Girls” at least resolves that question right up front. It’s right there in the title. Shapiro was just seventeen when this was released, but even at that relatively springy age she’s not going to fall for her paramour’s saucy lines and big-ticket items. Not even if he buys her “a hero sandwich and a glass of wine.” A pairing I’ve never had, to be honest. They don’t serve wine at Subway. I’m thinking the Subway Club would go okay with an unassuming Chateau Margeaux, and that a satisfying rosé (which, as far as I know, does not exist) might take the too-bold edges off the steak-and-cheese melt. But forget the merlot. I’m serious. Don’t even think about merlot.
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