Won’t Someone Please Belong to Me

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Bobby Troup and Julie London-4Bobby Troup and Julie London-5

(above) Bobby Troup and Julie London — source: JulieLondon.org

Won’t Someone Please Belong to Me (Bobby Troup) — date published unknown

I’m aware of only the few recordings of the song included below, by Teri Thornton, Julie London, Bobby Troup, and Marilyn Maye. I’ve often wondered why the song did not become well-known and often covered. Perhaps the triple rhymes and off-rhymes —  “Yesterday” / “here’s today,” “cold again” / “fold again,” “be content” / “be so bent,” “serener place” / “greener place,” etc. — were thought to be outdated or artificial. Such constructions may have been considered passé long before Troup published this song. Among American popular song lyricists of the 20th century, triple rhymes are most closely associated with Lorenz Hart.

On the day before creating and publishing this post, I noticed that someone had entered the site via a keyword search looking for the lyric to “Won’t Someone Please Belong to Me.” I didn’t have it. In fact, I’d been periodically looking for the lyric for the previous four or five years. So, after another round of searches came up empty I decided to transcribe it. The following transcription is drawn from the taped live performance by Bobby Troup and (presumably) his band for the 1965 Julie London TV variety special, Julie: Something Special.

Won’t Someone Please Belong to Me — words and music by Bobby Troup

Yesterday, things looked bright
I never knew a kiss so right
But here’s today — I’m out in the cold again
Just like a sheep that’s lost from his fold again
Won’t someone please belong to me

Find my love, mind my love
Try not to be unkind, my love
Just be content — there is no serener place
Don’t be so bent in finding a greener place
Won’t someone please belong to me

A fool am I
You’d think someday I’d learn
For fools like I
The tables never turn
But I’m not wise
I’m always taken by surprise, surprise

Days are long
Nights are long
Time seems so slow when things go wrong
Won’t someone new come here and be mad to be
Near someone who is true and so glad to be
Won’t someone please, please, please belong to me
Please belong to me
Please belong to me

transcribed by Jim “doc” Radcliff on 10 March 2015 *

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1965 Won't Someone Please Belong to Me (Troup)-Teri Thornton Columbia 4-43209 (B-side)

Teri Thornton — B-side of the 45 rpm single “To Remember You By,” Columbia 4-43209, issued on 25 January 1965

Note: Despite each of the following two videos purporting to contain a copy of the B-side of Columbia 4-43209, though the second contains an image which suggests that it might be from a promotional copy of the single, they aren’t even close to being the same length, one being several seconds shorter than the 2:25 stated on the label and the other several seconds longer. The recording in video 1 is about 2:20 in length, while that in video 2 is about 2:32, though they do sound like the same recording. I surmise that at some point perhaps either the shorter one was slightly sped up, the longer one slowed down, or both.

video 1

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video 2

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Bobby Troup with unidentified small combo — live, from the Julie London TV variety special Julie: Something Special, air date: 17 November 1965

JulieLondon.org says,

On November 17th, 1965 WGN-TV in Chicago aired an hour-long special titled Julie: Something Special. Julie sings many of her popular numbers and is joined by, now husband, Bobby Troup and the quartet, The Hi-Lo’s. All of their performances are included. This show was re-aired on NBC-TV on February 13th, 1967.

It must have been the rebroadcast on NBC which I saw as a child of nine, for I recalled this performance decades later when I came across the video several years ago.

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1965 Feeling Good-Julie London (LP) Liberty LST-7416

Julie London — from the 1965 LP Feeling Good: with the Gerald Wilson Big Band, LRP-3416 (Mono), LST-7416 Stereo

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The Second of Maye, Marilyn Maye, (US) RCA Victor LSP-3546, released in 1966

Marilyn Maye — from the live album The Second of Maye, (US) RCA Victor LSP-3546, released in 1966 [Thanks to visitor Helen, whose helpful comment made me aware of this recording.]

From marilynmaye.com:

This album marked the second collaboration of Marilyn and Joe Rene. It was recorded live at The Living Room, a then-famous New York nightclub, and released in 1966. Joining Marilyn was The Sammy Tucker Quintet featuring Sammy Tucker, her husband at the time, on the piano. The album notes were penned by Skitch Henderson, then-musical director for The Tonight Show.

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* “Days” and “Nights” are reversed in the first two lines of the final section in the versions by Teri Thornton, Julie London, and Marilyn Maye. The line “Won’t someone new come here and be mad to be” is slightly different in the Thornton and London versions, the first word being “Please” instead of “Won’t,” and “glad” replacing “mad.” However, the second line of the section is identical to the Troup version in the London recording (she sings “glad” in both lines, twice), yet very different in the Thornton recording, which goes “Near someone true, as true as you’ll ever be.” The lyric sung by Marilyn Maye in her live version also displays other minor differences from each of the others. She replaces the word “sheep” with “lamb,” and modifies the expression “Don’t be so bent in,” to the more prevalent “Don’t be so bent on.”

For other lyric transcriptions by yours truly see the page Unsung lyrics, transcribed by doc.

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