1. Ya Ya (2:26) - This song, featuring a piano and a sax, is moderately fast and one of two songs by Lee that I hear on the radio. The narrator sits and waits for his girlfriend to come; he hopes she will come soon so he won't worry. I also have a version of this song by Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers.
2. Do-Re-Mi (2:13) - This fast song is musically similar to "Ya Ya," featuring horns (common throughout this album) and a piano. When the narrator first walks by a certain girl, he falls in love and hears in his mind the old tune "Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti." She may not be Mona Lisa, but he still wants to mate with her.
3. Ride Your Pony (2:52) - This moderately fast song is a gem that I never heard before buying the disc. The narrator and his listeners are about to ride ponies to California, Atlanta, St. Louis...all over America! So come on, mount your ponies and ride!
4. Work Work Work (2:27) - The tempo is moderately slow. The narrator finds it impossible to find a job that matches his skills or interests. Having been broke for a long time, he asks his friends for spending change, but they always tell him he'd better "work, work, work." But when he asks if anyone knows someone who's lonely and he's answered with "love, love, love," he says, "Now you're talkin'." Work gives you the means to live; love gives you a reason to live.
5. Can You Hear Me (2:13) - This fast song features a tambourine. The people can hear the narrator, and he announces to them that they're gonna make the most of the night: dance, jump, shout and have fun!
6. Get Out Of My Life Woman (2:26) - The tempo is moderately slow. Now that the girl no longer loves the narrator, he tells her to get out of his life and off his ladder to progress. He also tells his teardrops to leave his eyes so he can see where he's going.
7. Confusion (2:26) - This song is slightly slower than the previous one. Instruments include a piano. The narrator feels happy one day, sad the next. I like the lines "I don't know if I'm goin' or comin' / I just don't understand this woman."
8. Working In The Coal Mine (2:49) - This fast song is Lee's other radio classic. Instruments and sound effects include a guitar and a percussion resembling someone striking a rock with a metal tool. The narrator rises every weekday before 5 AM to head for the coal mine. He works so hard Monday through Friday that on weekends he's "too tired for havin' fun." This is my favorite song of Lee's, for the chorus: "Workin' in a coal mine, goin' down down down / Workin' in a coal mine, oops, about to slip down."
9. Holy Cow (2:31) - This song has a moderate swing tempo. Since the narrator's girlfriend left him, he can't eat or sleep. "Holy cow (or smoke)! What you doin' to me?" he asks her.
10. Operation Heartache (1:36) - The tempo is moderately slow. The narrator has had enough of the girl's lies. He will no longer walk her street or knock on her door; she'd better not consider him her boyfriend anymore. The title implies that he's trying to repair the damage she did to his heart.
11. Gotta Find A Job (2:27) - Here's another song about a guy who's desperate for work. The tempo is moderate. The narrator has always lived hand-to-mouth, but household bills are mounting and he can't stay unemployed forever. He apparently lost his last job when some wiseguy persuaded the boss to fire the narrator.
12. Love Lots Of Lovin' (with Betty Harris) (2:59) - The horns play loudly and clearly in this moderately fast song. Many duets (by various artists), including this one, are wonderful. Lee's character tells Betty's that times get rough sometimes; she replies that he need not worry, for she'll always stand by him. Every morning when she wakes up, he's on her mind. I also hear a recurrence of the lyric "Holy cow, what you doin', child?" from three songs ago; only this time it's in a joyful context.
13. My Old Car (1:59) - This tempo is moderately fast. The narrator's car always breaks down: the battery dies, the clutch fails, he can't get the gas pump out when he's through refueling...he'd give anything to return home to his sweetheart. I like how he counts down the number of miles from home: 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15... But at 14, the song fades.
14. Go-Go Girl (2:23) - Instruments in this fast song include an organ. The girl is out having fun with every guy, but the narrator will keep waiting for her until her fun is over. Once dawn breaks, she'll be alone with him.
15. I Can't Get Away (2:14) - This song has a moderate swing tempo. The narrator's girlfriend is the meanest woman he's ever met and always gets whatever she wants. Yet he's so in love with her that he can't escape. I like how the backup singers sing the title.
16. Lottie Mo '68 (previously unreleased) (3:41) - Apparently, Lee had a hit with another version of this song some years earlier. Lottie has been unfaithful to the narrator, and he sees through her lies about loving him. He declares their relationship over and resolves to move far away from her.
17. A Lover Was Born (2:54) - This song opens with very fast guitar licks. The measures count very fast also; the snare and cymbal drums play on every third beat. From the day the narrator was born, they knew that one day he'd be a Casanova. Once he's a young man, his father advises him to save himself some misery by loving only one woman; the narrator now does his best to follow that lecture. The reference to the Beatles, that they "ain't got no money" is interesting.
18. Everything I Do Gohn Be Funky (From Now On) (3:08) - Ten tracks after "Coal Mine," here's a song with a similar tempo and slightly similar music. An organ is among the instruments here. I like the opening where a male voice speaks the title minus the parenthetical phrase. The word "gohn" is like "gonna," a colloquial contraction for "going to." The narrator may lack class, but being himself makes him feel unprecedented joy.
19. Give It Up (3:03) - This fast song opens with an 11-second piano solo. The narrator has passion on his mind; now, with the help of blaring horns, he tells the girl to get the session started without further delay.
20. Candy Yam (2:14) - This song, slightly faster than moderate, has another reference to song #9: "Holy cow, I wanna thank you child." The narrator's girlfriend, or "candy yam," lifts his mood up when he's depressed, always thinks of him before herself, and is always available when he needs her. Now I'd like to thank YOU, ma'am (or sir), for reading this review.
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