I love this song. I love the Troggs in general, but this song in particular is excellent. It’s repetitive, nasally, and a little pathetic, but hopeful. It embodies outsider love. And I’m not the only one who loves this song, it’s been featured prominently in a number of television shows and movies, and covered beautifully by the likes of Troggs contemporary Alex Chilton and indie rock darlings and noted crate diggers Yo La Tengo. (I’d highly recommend the Yo La Tengo version, as it captures the awkwardness and naiveté of the original perfectly.) It’s never been a wildly popular song, though it did reach number one on the UK charts, it’s always been dwarfed by Wild Thing. It’s popularity is cult like though, fans of the song are passionate.
I’m not really sure what makes it so good. It’s an incredibly simple guitar riff, repetitive and almost hypnotic. The lyrics are borderline desperate, almost asking for sympathy for the man, who’s pursuing his vision of the perfect woman. She ignores him, but he is persistent. He compliments her and is determined, but we slowly realize that it’s never going to happen. He’s optimistic the whole way through though, and I think that’s the crux. It gives hope to outsiders everywhere, in the face of the seemingly impossible. It’s not a song of lost love, and it’s not a song of happily ever afters. It exists in a purgatory, where maybe is the best you can expect, and it makes you think you’ll get a solid yes. So lovely.
I like to look at the single that followed, I Can’t Control Myself, as the protagonists dream come to fruition.