Love’s Kind Of Crazy With A Spooky Little Boy/Girl Like You

The lyrics to Dusty Springfield’s 1970 song ”Spooky” are slightly odd. They have a woman describing her relationship with a fickle, unreliable, flirtatious man. ”Love’s kind of crazy with a spooky little boy like you”. She constantly finds him winking with his “little eye” at other women. “I get confused and I don’t know where I stand / But then you smile and hold my hand.” On the other hand, she won’t give him a straight answer when he tries to ask her out. For the time definitely, and largely to a 2014 audience as well I believe, the gender roles in the lyrics are confusing. This is because what Dusty recorded was a gender-flipped version of the original lyrics.

The tune to “Spooky” was written by Mike Sharpe and Harry Middlebrooks Jr. and released as an instrumental in 1967. Later that year it received lyrics by James Cobb and Buddy Buie and was put out by the Floridian rock quartet the Classics IV. In January 1968 Dusty Springfield recorded her version. The original lyrics are about a spooky little girl behaving exactly like she might be expected to in mid-60s pop lyrics. Also they have a verse that was omitted from Dusty’s version, clearly because it couldn’t be gender-flipped convincingly at the time:

Just like a ghost, you’ve been a-hauntin’ my dreams
So I’ll propose… on Halloween

There’s one final wrinkle to this story that makes it even better. Dusty Springfield, being gay, would probably have preferred to record the original lyrics. Love, after all, is kind of crazy with a spooky little girl like you.

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Depeche Mode Meets Tom Lehrer

In your room
Where time stands still
Or moves at your will
Will you let the morning come soon
As we dance to the Masochism Tango

I ache for the touch of your lips, dear
But much more for the touch of your whips, dear
There’ll be times
When my crimes
Will seem almost unforgivable
I give in to sin
Because you have to make this life livable
As we dance to the Masochism Tango

You caught my nose
In your left castanet, love
I can feel the pain yet, love
Every time I hear drums
And I envy the rose
That you held in your teeth, love
Strangelove

Will you take the pain
I will give to you
Again and again
And will you return it
As we dance to the Masochism Tango

Your eyes cast a spell that bewitches
The last time I needed twenty stitches
To sew up the gash
That you made with your lash
Dangerous
When I am in your arms
Dangerous
Know I will come to harm
As we dance to the Masochism Tango

There’s a new game
We like to play you see
A game with added reality
You treat me like a dog
Get me down on my knees
Which is why I perspire
When we tango

For some background, see my blog entry La Vice Anglais.