Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: The Marvelettes, “Please Mr. Postman” #rmf

This is going to be one of those all-purpose posts: Jim gave us the prompt "Hold/Pause/Stop/Wait" for today, and since I’m using soul and R&B acts as my theme for the Rocktober Music Fest that Mary B is running this month, which is what I’m using for my Songs of the Day throughout October… in short, this post kills three birds with one stone.

"Please Mr. Postman" was written by Georgia Dobbins, William Garrett, Freddie Gorman, Brian Holland and Robert Bateman and recorded by The Marvelettes (of which Ms. Dobbins had been a part, although not when they recorded it) in 1961. It was The Marvelettes’ debut record and the first Motown single (recorded on the subsidiary Tamla label) to reach #1 on the Hot 100 (it also reached #1 on the R&B chart).

The Beatles, who were playing in clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg at the time, did a lot of covers of Motown hits (as I mentioned yesterday) and added it to their playlist, which helped them get through those 12-hour Preludin-and-alcohol fueled sets, particularly in Hamburg. They had dropped the song from their playlist sometime before releasing their second album on Parlophone, With The Beatles (which was split by Capitol in the US into Meet The Beatles and The Beatles’ Second Album, on which the song can be found), and had to rehearse it in order to put it on the album. The result was criticized as being a "wall of sound" and for its "general airlessness" by British critic Ian MacDonald. Nonetheless, it was released as the B side of "Roll Over Beethoven" in the US and Canada, and reached #68 on the Hot 100 and #30 on the Cash Box singles chart. (Thanks, Wikipedia.)

It was a #1 hit for a second time in 1975, when it was covered by Karen and Richard Carpenter. It was their last million-selling single.

Here’s the original…

The lyrics, from AZLyrics:

(Wait) Oh yes, wait a minute, Mr. Postman
(Wait) Wai-hey-hey-hey-it, Mr. Postman

(Please, Mr. Postman, look and see) Whoa yeah
(Is there a letter in your bag for me?) Please, please, Mr. Po-oh-ostman
(‘Cause it’s been a mighty long time) Whoa yeah
(Since I heard from this boyfriend of mine)

There must be some word today
From my boyfriend so far away
Please, Mr. Postman, look and see
Is there a letter, a letter for me?
I’ve been standin’ here waitin’, Mr. Postman
So so patiently
For just a card or just a letter
Sayin’ he’s returnin’ home to me

Please, Mr. Postman
(Please, Mr. Postman, look and see) Whoa yeah
(Is there a letter in your bag for me?) Please, please, Mr. Po-oh-oh-ostman
(‘Cause it’s been a mighty long time) Whoa yeah
(Since I heard from this boyfriend of mine)

So many days, you’ve passed me by
You saw the tears standin’ in my eye
You wouldn’t stop to make me feel better
By leavin’ me a card or a letter

Please, Mr. Postman, look and see
Is there a letter, oh yeah, in your bag for me?
You know it’s been so long
Yeah, since I heard from this boyfriend of mine

You better wait a minute, wait a minute
(Wait a minute, Mr. Postman)
Whoa, you better wait a minute
Please, please, Mr. Postman (Wait a minute, Mr. Postman)
Please check and see
Just one more time for me

You gotta wait a minute (wait), wait a minute (Wait a minute, Mr. Postman)
Oh you better wait a minute, wait a minute
Please, Mr. Po-ostman (Wait a minute, Mr. Postman)
Don’t pass me by, you see the tears in my eyes

You better wait (Wait)
Wait a minute (Wait a minute, Mr. Postman)
Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute
(Wait, wait a minute, Mr. Postman)
Please Mr. Postman

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday and Song of the Day for October 11, 2020.

23 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: The Marvelettes, “Please Mr. Postman” #rmf

  1. I love that old sound. Your note got me to look up the Carpenters’ version. I found a video of them at Disneyland. Karen looked like she was having a lot of fun. I hope she really was. I hope she enjoyed parts of her life in spite of her sad ending.

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  2. Never tire of hearing this song! I heard it in my car on the way to the post office this day. My dog, who usually gets to ride on those daily trips, looked at me like I was crazy while half dancing in my car. Or maybe she just wanted me to shut up because I can’t sing! πŸ™‚

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    1. Karen and Richard had a #1 hit with it in the ’70’s. Things are definitely different today, with us able to communicate 24/7 anywhere in the world. There was a lot to be said for snail mail…

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    1. The Beatles took The Marvelettes’ version and almost duplicated it. They probably heard it on the radio and picked it up by ear, practiced it a couple of times, and debuted it that night.

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