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August 29, 2010


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The Siren

Hey, I have always thought this was the greatest break-up song of all time. Beats I Will Survive any day of the week.


"Count Downe" will live forever.


I'd rather be dead
I'd rather be dead
I'd rather be dead
Than wet my bed.

Tom Carson

I'm not sure if this story is even mildly amusing, but here goes. My first exposure to "You're Breakin' My Heart" came when I was a 17-year-old summer intern for eventually disgraced GOP Senator Bob Packwood back in the Stone Age. One of my duties was coping with constituent letters, which usually amounted to finding the right form-letter reply in a big looseleaf binder and plugging it in. Then this one concerned mother wrote in complaining about her young son laughing at "You're Breakin' My Heart" and wanting to know if Something Could Be Done. She enclosed a Xerox of the lyrics.

No one was supervising me. I composed a sententious reply explaining that while Senator Packwood shared her concern, we obviously had to be careful about limiting people's access to truly great works of art. Like, for instance, Shakespeare and this song.

So far as I know, the answer went out over Packwood's auto-machine signature on Senate letterhead to that poor mom, and I've had moments of feeling guilty since. But not that guilty.

John M

This is definitely used in some movie. Probably from the 80s.

Anyone remember?

Kent Jones

That would be PRIVATE SCHOOL, 1983, with Phoebe Cates and Matthew Modine, Ray Walston, Sylvia Kristel, and one of my favorite character actors, Richard Stahl - he was the pet shop proprietor on THE ODD COUPLE who sells Felix the Yugoslavian jumping from ("He got here from Yugoslavia, didn't he?") and the man in control booth in FIVE EASY PIECES ("Miss Dupea...you're humming again.")

John M

That is superb recall, Mr. Jones. I must've seen this on cable, some night at the opposite end of the house, out of my parents' sight.

Phoebe Cates. A woman with qualities.


A mention of PRIVATE SCHOOL without a mention of Betsy Russell. Criminal. :)

Great song. Unfortunately, this thread just made me realize that my double-CD Nilsson anthology appears to be one of the casualties of my recent move. Most of my collection from L through Z is AWOL. I think the packers got sticky fingers (also missing a digital camera and some coffee table books, including The Beatles Anthology and one of those Robert Osborne Oscar rundowns. :(

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