Where We Can Be Alone

I just finished reading two posts about different songs by Herman’s Hermits, one from PowerPop… An Eclectic Collection of Pop Culture who wrote about the song ‘I’m Into Something Good’ and one from ghostmmnc, teleportingweena who about the song There Is A Kind Of Hush and this made me want to write about a Herman’s Hermits song.  I am still doing this theme that involves writing about songs with a girl’s name in the title and I found this little known, but lovely song titled ‘Lady Barbara’, which is what I picked for today.

‘Lady Barbara’ is a song by Peter Noone and Herman’s Hermits.  The 7 inch single was released in the UK in 1970 by Mickie Most’s Rak Records and it entered the UK charts on November 14 1970.  ‘Lady Barbara’ stayed on the charts for 12 weeks reached all the way up to number 13.  It was the last single of the Herman’s Hermits that featured Peter Noone and it turned out to be the final hit for the band, who notched plenty of UK chart hits from 1964 onward.  ‘Lady Barbara’ was written in Italian by Totò Savio, Giancarlo Bigazzi, and Claudio Cavallaro and performed by Renato dei Profeti, the Italian singer, composer, musician, producer and founder of the group I Profeti at his first solo venture.  The same year it was adapted into English by Errol Brown and Tony Wilson who wrote songs as Wilson-Brown, and the cover version was performed by Peter Noone and Herman’s Hermits.

Tony Wilson and Errol Brown met in Brixton in 1968 and they recorded a lazily strange Caribbean cover of The Plastic Ono Band’s ‘Give Peace A Chance’.  Brown added some new words to ‘Give Peace a Chance’ and he was told that it could not be released without John Lennon’s permission.  Lennon loved the track and invited them to record it for the Beatles’ own label, Apple.  A receptionist at Apple suggested that the multi-racial group should be called the Hot Chocolate Band.  Errol Brown was a British-Jamaican singer and songwriter who was in the soul and funk band Hot Chocolate along with Tony Wilson and they scored a big hit with the disco tune ‘You Sexy Thing’.  Brown died from liver cancer at his home in the Bahamas on May 6, 2015.  Tony Wilson was a singer, bass guitarist and songwriter from Trinidad and he left Hot Chocolate in 1976.

The British Invasion band Herman’s Hermits hit the Hot 100 a total of 19 times, having 2 No. 1 hits and 11 Top 10 hits, and for a while they were outselling the Beatles and they eventually ended up with a total of 80 million records, acquiring 24 gold hits along the way and having seven albums that went gold.  Fans knew Peter Noone, but the other four guys in the band were strangers.  When Peter Noone was 15, he joined the Heartbeats, a Manchester quartet looking to make it on the coattails of bands from that city’s rival, Liverpool.  Soon after the band changed their name to Herman and the Hermits, with Noone being Herman.  The band’s name came from a resemblance, noted by a publican in Manchester, England, between Noone and Sherman in the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon.  Sherman was shortened to Herman, and then became Herman and his Hermits, which was soon shortened to Herman’s Hermits.

The quintet emerged as Peter Noone on vocals, Karl Green on bass, Keith Hopwood on rhythm guitar, Lek Leckenby on lead guitar and Barry Whitwam on drums.  The group hooked up with producer Mickie Most and they cut an infectious cover of Earl Jean’s US hit, ‘I’m Into Something Good’ which went to number 1 in the UK in 1964.  Mickie Most also oversaw the careers of The Animals, Donovan, and Lulu.  Herman’s Hermits enjoyed a run of hits penned by the leading commercial songwriters of the day, but in 1970 Peter Noone left the band to pursue a solo career.

The song ‘Lady Barbara’ is about a guy who thinks that his life is totally together, until he meets this Lady Barbara.  He is willing to change his life and do things differently, if she will spend time with him.  He invites Lady Barbara to come live with him, some place where they can be alone.  He is kind of out of his mind over this girl, but he is not sure that she feels the same way about him.  He hopes that she wants him, so he can have her and like the morning sun he would like to see her shine.

I used to think that I had everything I need
Then Lady Barbara, you came along
I never thought that I would want my life to change
But Lady Barbara, I was wrong.

I gladly rearrange my life If you want me to
Cause all I want is to spend my time
Doing things with you
If you want to change my life
It’s alright
Change my life
It’s alright with me.

Lady Barbara come live me
To a place I know where we can be alone.
Lady Barbara, I’d like to make you mine
Like the morning sun I’d like to see you shine.

I will like to think that you Would always be with me
But I’m not sure What’s on your mind
I just hope it’s me.
If you want to change my life It’s alright
Please change my life
It’s alright with me.

Lady Barbara come with me
To a place I know where we can be alone.
Lady Barbara, I’d like to make you mine
Like the morning sun I’d like to see you shine
Lady Barbara come live me To a place I know Where we can be alone.
Lady Barbara, I’d like to make you mine
Like the morning sun I’d like to see you shine

7 thoughts on “Where We Can Be Alone

  1. Very interesting how this song alternates between the stanzas of being faster and then slower. I had never heard this one. It’s a nice sounding song, and a good story line in the lyrics. I like the background for the group that you wrote about, too.
    Thanks so much for the mention! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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