Like Squaresville, Jay!

by Mark Steyn

Oh, c’mon, Jay. Re the almighty “like”: You claim to be such an André Previn fan, and you don’t know his grooviest hep-cat hit in the Fifties was “Like Young”?

Paul Francis Webster (who’s best known for big movie ballads like “Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing” and the Spider-Man theme song) put a lyric to it:

I’m out doin’ the usual places
And I’m livin’ it
Like Young!
Then I dig me this face of all faces
She’s the craziest
Like Young!
She drinks coffee at Cafe Espresso
She reads Kerouac
Like Young!

Like wow! — as the lyric, in fact, goes on to observe:

We spin records on cloud number seven
And she’s reaching me
Like wow!

I’m all unstrung
‘Cause, man, she’s got me feeling Like Young
If she were to brush me and go
I’d start wearing my hair again
Like a square again…

What I always liked about the song is the way it walks such a fine line between cool and ridiculous. You’ve got to be very sure-footed to get away with a line like, “Now we’re ridin’ a rainbow to Cloudsville.” My favorite version is by Buddy Greco, who manages to give you the impression he doesn’t just sing the song, he lives it. Can’t seem to find that on YouTube, but here’s Ella doing it.

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