why do birds sing so gay

Its not great poetry, and it didnt make a bit more sense in 1956 than it does today. But, as anyone who was a teenager in 1956 will attest, it was great rock n roll.

Some with especially acute memories may even be able to tell you without a moments hesitation that it was Frankie Lymon and the Teen-Agers whose single, “Why Do Fools Fall In Love shot to the top of the pop music charts in 1956 as an especially infectious example of the New York doo-wap genre.

Background and authorship edit

The Teenagers, who were then known as The Premiers, went to George Goldner, the recording producer and owner of Gee Records, to try out a song called “Why do Birds Sing So Gay?” towards the end of 1955. The group’s tenor, Herman Santiago, wrote the song after reading a passage in some love letters that a tenant in bassist Sherman Garnes’ apartment building gave the guys. One of them had the line, “Why do birds sing so gay?,” which matched the lyrics Herman had been writing on a 1-6-2-5 chord pattern for other songs. Herman changed the harmony to highlight the high tenor/soprano of Frankie Lymons. During the process, some of the lyrics were altered per Goldner’s suggestion. Frankie’s voice jumped out during the audition, so Goldner suggested giving him the lead in the ensuing recording sessions. Frankie reworked the melody in accordance with his own style through some improvisation. Jimmy Merchant claimed that during the recording session, “George Goldner’s unique ability to bring out the best in Frankie combined with Frankie’s singing ability” “[8].

Frankie Lymon, Herman Santiago, and George Goldner were all listed as co-writers of “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” on early vinyl single releases, but Lymon and record producer George Goldner were the only ones listed on subsequent releases and cover versions. Morris Levy later took over Goldner’s name when he acquired Goldner’s stake in Gee Records, the teenage record label.

Songwriting credit was granted to Herman Santiago and Jimmy Merchant, two original Teenagers members, in December 1992 following a protracted legal battle. [9].

However, this ruling was overturned by the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit due to Santiago and Merchant’s tardiness in bringing the case before the court This gave the song rights back to Lymon and Levy. [10] The U. S. Supreme Court declined to hear a further appeal. [11] EMI Music Publishing, the song’s current publisher, still credits these two as the songwriters.

Track listings edit

  • “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” – 2:51
  • “Think Im In Love”
  • “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” (159.0 bpm) – 2:53
  • “Im Coming Out” (Joey Negro Extended 12″, 109. 7 bpm) – 6:05.
  • David Morales Club’s “The Boss,” extracted from Diana Extended/The Remixes, 124 0 bpm) – 6:29.
  • “Love Hangover” (Joey Negro Hangover Symphony, 121.0 bpm) – 8:57
  • “Why Do Fools Fall in Love”
  • “Im Coming Out” (Joey Negro 7″ Mix)

Charts edit

Chart (1994) Peak position
UK Singles (OCC) 36