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83) Steve Lawrence – “Go Away Little Girl”

Gerry Goffin and Carole King wrote some of the greatest pop songs ever, two of which we’ve already examined here (also, this one).  But in 1962, they hit a bit of a rough patch.  That year saw the release of their notorious Crystals single “He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss),” which flopped, as well as the questionable “Go Away Little Girl,” which unfortunately didn’t. I’m not sure whether it would be worse to interpret the namesake “little girl” as underage or not.  Either way, it’s creepy.  Ostensibly, the singer is imploring her to “go away” because he’s dating someone else, but the lyrics are just ambiguous enough to make you wonder: “I’m not supposed to be in love with you,” “When you are near me like this, you’re much too hard to resist,” and so forth.  Actually, it might not be so bad if not for Steve Lawrence’s smarmy vocals – he was only 27 when the single became a hit, but his faux-sincere croon pegs him as far older.  The melody is also surprisingly weak for a Goffin/King tune.  Whatever problems “Take Good Care of My Baby” might have had, at least it was catchy.  “Go Away Little Girl” just plods along, with none of the lightness and verve of their contemporaneous pop songs.  It sounds less like chartworthy pop and more like a performance from a particularly soporific episode of The Lawrence Welk Show. Ironically, Lawrence Welk’s own number one was a whole lot more fun than this. 2

Hit #1 on January 12, 1963; total of 2 weeks at #1
83 of 976 #1’s reviewed; 8.50% through the Hot 100

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