La De Da De Da

In 1967, Sonny & Cher a substantial force in pop-rock of the ‘60s had a hit with the song ‘The Beat Goes On’ which was written by Sonny Bono. It peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  People die and life may suck at times, but the rhythm of everyday life, the problems and promises and everything else, will keep on going.  Our lives are filled with rhythm, your heart beats to a rhythm, although it will not always have the same rhythm or tempo, it is an inevitable part of life and something that you must accept.  Life has a musical rhythm, with hearts beating and brains pounding and as long as you continue to breath this rhythm will keeps pulsating. This song is about thing changing, but at the same time fundamental things seem to remain the same.  In the 1960s, girls started wearing miniskirts, no one was doing the Charleston any more, people no longer went to the grocery store, as now they were going to the supermarket. Many basic things will probably never change, as girls would continue breaking hearts, boys would keep chasing after them to get a kiss, grandmas will continue to sit in chairs and reminisce, men would march off to war and bums would not abstain from begging for money.  Time will continue to march forward, no matter what fads come and go.

Salvatore Bono better known as Sonny and ‘Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPiere’ better known as Cher met in 1962 when she was a 16-year-old high-school dropout because her dyslexia proved too grueling.  Cher wanted to be a star and Sonny was a 28 year old assistant to record producer Phil Spector.  Together they rode a wave of hits to pop stardom and their far-out look, with wide colorful pants, skimpy tops, shaggy hair and fur vests attracted many fans.  Along the way they married and had a daughter named Chastity who eventually turned into Chaz.  In the early 70’s, they became a prime time TV staple with ‘The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour’, but by 1974 the cracks in their relationship were beginning to show.

Time for some background information, when Sonny and Cher first met in this restaurant, he was attracted to her beautiful friend, not her.  They all went out that night, but her friend didn’t dance, so Cher ended up dancing all night long with Sonny.  Sonny moved into the apartment house next door to Cher and her beautiful girlfriend, and they became friends.  She told him that she had been sick and had lost her job and he said, “Well, you can live in my place and cook and clean”, so Cher started out working as Sonny’s housekeeper.  Sonny introduced Cher to Spector, who used her as a backup singer on many recordings, including the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’”.  Sonny initially wanted to launch Cher as a solo artist, but she encouraged him to perform with her because she suffered from stage fright.  Sonny and Cher went out to a club in Los Angeles one night where they heard the Byrds performing the Dylan song ‘All I Really Want To Do’ and Cher got her recording out before the Byrds’ song made it into the stores, beating the folk-rock group at its own game of popularizing Dylan songs.  She subsequently had hits with ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)’, but their biggest success was with ‘I Got You Babe’ and ‘The Beat Goes On’.

When you write a song with a title like this, you need music with a beat to back up the lyrics and Sonny is only given credit for the lyrics and the title phrase.  Wrecking Crew’s bassist Carol Kaye devised the distinctive syncopated bass line, which in no small part made the song a hit, and because of the power within this instrumental design that is what gives the record a lingering appeal.  Carol Kaye is an American musician, who is one of the most prolific and widely heard bass guitarists in rock and pop music, playing on an estimated 10,000 recordings in a career spanning over 50 years.  Carol Kaye was not only a pioneer in the male-dominated world of pop recording sessions, but she also broke down musical barriers, playing on a multitude of records and TV and movie scoring dates of almost every kind.  Besides Sonny and Cher, she collaborated with The Mothers of Invention / Frank Zappa, The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Gary Lewis / Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Joe Cocker, Henry Mancini, Harry Nilsson, Quincy Jones, Cass Elliot, Al Kooper, Dusty Springfield, Rick Springfield, Robert Palmer, Phil Spector, Tina Turner, Doris Day, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Ann-Margret and many others.  The Wrecking Crew played for and with nearly every prominent American pop performer of the nineteen-sixties and they were a loose collective of session musicians based in Los Angeles whose services were employed for thousands of studio recordings in the 1960s and early 1970s, including several hundred Top 40 hits.

The beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da

Charleston was once the rage, uh huh
History has turned the page, uh huh
The mini skirts, the current thing, uh huh
Teenybopper is our newborn king, uh huh

And the beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da

The grocery store’s the super mart, uh huh
Little girls still break their hearts, uh huh
And men still keep on marching off to war
Electrically they keep a baseball score

And the beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da

Grandmas sit in chairs and reminisce
Boys keep chasing girls to get a kiss
The cars keep going faster all the time
Bums still cry, “Hey buddy, have you got a dime?”

And the beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da

And the beat goes on, yes, the beat goes on
And the beat goes on, and the beat goes on
The beat goes on, and the beat goes on

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Abstain and for Scotts Daily Prompt – Background.

8 thoughts on “La De Da De Da

  1. I have a niece who looks a lot like Cher. [Curiously, her mother’s name is Carolyn ( but Carolyn is not familiar with her specific ethnic background other than white [being from New Orleans] )]; I didn’t know until today that Cher’s name is Cherilyn.] And, yes, the niece’s parents’ heritage includes native American.

    I enjoy the music of sonny and cher.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oops, just testing to see if you were paying attention, no seriously thanks for spotting my typo. Actually there were some girls that started wearing miniskirts in the 11th century, but the trend did not catch on, because they had so much trouble bathing back then.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. So good of you to remind me of the message in the lyrics “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. In our younger days I never really paid attention to the lyrics of the song, I was more interested in the catchy tune and the beat. I find that lately, I read song lyrics the way I read poetry because that is the essence of it, don’t you think?

    Liked by 1 person

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