A doo-wop lost-love song made endearing and hilarious by the vocals, oohing and aahing all over the place. The long-lipped Zappa doo-wop bits are great, and the lead vocal sounds so clear.
Reverb-laden piano and a thumping stand-up bass fill in the background of the verses and choruses. There’s even room for some warm xylophone offering plinking chords and the occasional arpeggio.
The lyrics tell the story of a guy coming to terms with the end of a relationship. Specific images are chosen throughout to make the abstract concrete; the protagonist gave his sweetheart his high school ring “at the root beer stand,” for instance, which casts the listener into a monochrome suburban past. The songs of the era are simultaneously honoured and lampooned in this tune. The chorus: “go cry on somebody else’s shoulder / I’m somewhat wiser now, and one whole year older,” gives us a clever rhyme, as well as an honest look at the budding maturity of a teenager navigating a first love.
The bridge, with the whining, nasally voice speak-singing, is another portent of things to come on future records, but before we know it, we’re back to the verse and chorus structure that is quite prevalent on this record.
The ending sing-out sounds great, with the lead vocalising while Zappa mourns his many failures.