Song Lyric Sunday: Please Mr. Please

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.The theme from newepicauthor this week is “jukebox.” It just so happens that my father serviced jukeboxes and other coin-operated machines when I was growing up. The song I’m featuring is about how a song played on a jukebox in a bar can evoke painful memories. I sang this song a lot when I was a kid, accompanying myself on the piano, but I think Olivia Newton-John’s version is better. Enjoy, and have a super Sunday!

Olivia Newton-John–Please Mr. Please

In the corner of the bar there stands a jukebox
With the best of country music, old and new
You can hear your five selections for a quarter
And somebody else’s songs when yours are through
I got good Kentucky whiskey on the counter
And my friends around to help me ease the pain
‘Til some button-pushing cowboy plays that love song
And here I am just missing you again
Please, Mr., please, don’t play B-17
It was our song, it was his song, but it’s over
Please, Mr., please, if you know what I mean
I don’t ever wanna hear that song again
If I had a dime for every time I held you
Though you’re far away, you’ve been so close to me
I could swear I’d be the richest girl in Nashville
Maybe even in the state of Tennessee
But I guess I’d better get myself together
‘Cause when you left, you didn’t leave too much behind
Just a note that said “I’m sorry” by your picture
And a song that’s weighing heavy on my mind
Please, Mr., please, don’t play B-17
It was our song, it was his song, but it’s over
Please, Mr., please, if you know what I mean
I don’t ever wanna hear that song again
Songwriters: Bruce Welch / John Rostill
Please Mr. Please lyrics © Carlin America Inc


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Life at Fifteen

I recently heard an interesting story on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. This was the last in a series of interviews with girls around the world about what it’s like for them to be fifteen and their hopes for the future. This time, the reporter talked to girls at a high school in Silver Spring, Maryland. To hear this, go to .

I was kicked out of a bar on my fifteenth birthday. My parents and younger brother Andy were with me. We had a lovely dinner at the Historic Sheridan Inn. A man played the organ and sang, and I requested one of my favorite songs. When I heard the familiar opening accompaniment, I was so excited that I knocked my Coke into my lap. To hear me sing this song with guitar accompaniment, go to .

At home earlier, Dad taught me how to dance so after dinner, we strutted our stuff along with other happy couples. When the dining room closed, we wandered into the bar where another man was playing the guitar and singing. We found a table, and Dad ordered Coke for me and Andy and something alcoholic for himself and Mother. The manager appeared and said, “Gee, I hate to tell you this, but after ten o’clock, no kids.”

It wasn’t the first time that happened, but because it was my birthday, it was especially disappointing. As far as I was concerned, that special day was ruined. As Dad guided me out the door though, he said, “Well, when you get up on that stage with your own guitar, you can tell your audience that story.” That was my aspiration back then, to be a singer like Olivia Newton-John.

Thirty-nine years later in August of this year, I took the stage with my guitar during Sheridan’s Third Thursday Festival downtown and told my audience that story, much to their amusement. I didn’t become a best-selling recording artist like Olivia-Newton-John, but maybe I’ll be a best-selling author. Who knows?

What was life like for you at fifteen? What were your hopes for the future? Did your parents have any ideas about what you should be, or did they support your aspirations? Please feel free to share in the comment field below.


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