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Artist: Patience & Prudence
Appears On (Mixes): Thirteen Ugly Children Roll Gutterballs
Song Notes: Patience & Prudence were two sisters who had a few hits in the late 1950s; their father was Mark McIntyre, a record producer and songwriter, who wrote for, among others, Nat "King" Cole, and was working at Liberty records at the time. Hearing his daughters Patience and Prudence (then 13 and 10, respectively) sing this song at camp, he was impressed, and when he was in the studio later, cutting a demo for someone else, he had them sing this song as a gift for their grandparents. Two copies of the tape was made, one for the gift, and the other was given to their father's work partner Ross Bagdasarian (perhaps known better as David Seville) -- his wife liked it, and suggested they play it for Si Waronker, the head of Liberty -- he liked it, so they cut the songs for the single, which was a smash hit—it saved Liberty from bankruptcy and was the label's first top 10. Their follow-up singles didn't do as well, though, and there was never an LP recorded (though they recorded about 11 singles, a-and-b-sides). In 1964, they re-recorded this song in a different arrangement, but it didn't chart—however, later, The Honeys had a cut on this song, produced by Brian Wilson, which used a very similar arrangement to the original.
Most people nowadays though, know Patience and Prudence from the flipside to this single, "A Smile and a Ribbon", which appeared (in highly edited form) in the film (and comic, though you couldn't hear it in there...) Ghost World, as the nostalgic children's record Enid listens to (though, as far as I know, the real single didn't have a picture sleeve, and certainly not like it's depicted in the comic book, where the design has the title of the song in large letters—it was the B-side to the single, after all). I
I've always liked this song, but it's got a much different connotation when they sing it; the song on its face is about a relationship falling apart, but the singer still loves her man, and is saying that even though he's left her for someone new, this is their last night together, and she wants to make the most of it—however, because of the sisters' youth when they sang this song, it sounds more like they're singing to their divorced father (which makes it even sadder since that was a much rarer and looked-down-upon occurrence in the 1950s—sort of a "I don't care what people say, I need and love you" sentiment) who never gets to see them and they miss and love their father who isn't there for them anymore. It adds a whole different, sadder depth to the song, especially the way they sing it—nervously and shy. I love this one. - Rev. Syung Myung Me