The Toys – A Lover’s Concerto

1960s Girl Groups”1958-1966 | The Pop History Dig

The melody was adapted from “Minuet In G,” a composition written by Christian Petzold. “Minuet In G” is often thought to be by Johann Sebastian Bach because it was included in a book of sheet music kept by Bach’s wife Anna Magdalena.

The song was written by Denny Randell and Sandy Linzer, who wrote all the original songs on the album and went to write some of the biggest hits for The Four Seasons. In a Songfacts interview with Denny Randell, he explained that he started listening to “Minuet In G” at an early age. “I must have been about five, six,” said Randell. “I was taking lessons at a very early age, and I loved that piece. It stuck with me. Over the years, I grew up and got more into music from a creative point of view. It’s really interesting, throughout all my later teen years and when I first got into the business, I always had it on my mind that it would make a wonderful grounds for a pop song if done in the right way. At some point, finally, I just decided to write the song; it was time to put it together. It’s in a different groove and it’s a different time signature than the original piece; it was put into a form that could work for a pop record at that time.”

The title does not appear in the lyrics. Denny Randell told us how he came up with it: “In those days, I used to see a lot of young girls, and they would like to write poetry of sorts. So I wanted this to be basically a romantic poem, and I came up with the title, which also reflected the classical background of ‘A Lover’s Concerto.’ I just felt that it could work, I just had this feeling about it, even though it is not generally the way you write songs and hooks. The title was the combination of the feeling of both the lyric and the music. And it worked.”

The Toys were Barbara Harris, Barbara Parritt, and June Montiero. They met in high school and were signed by Lizer and Randell. This was their first single and biggest hit – the group broke up in 1968.

Ralph Casale, who played guitar on this track, told Songfacts that the song’s producer,
Charlie Calello, had the arrangement laid out, and the two guitarists played “chicks.” What’s a chick? Casale says: “Musicians used that word because when you pronounce the word ‘chick,’ with a heavy accent, it describes the sound produced when a guitarist strikes the first three strings of an electric guitar with a plectrum (pick) and the left-hand stops the strings from resonating. You can also produce both the ‘chicking’ sound and a resonating sound at the same time. The rhythm pattern can be quarter notes, eighth notes, or any pattern desired. The pattern used often was quarter notes on the second and fourth beat of the measure. On ‘Lovers Concerto’ one guitarist played quarter notes on the second and fourth beat with one sound and the other played on all four beats with another sound.”

Casale adds, “On this record Charlie wanted one guitar playing on two and four and the other playing on all four beats. The strings are struck in such a way that a chord sound and a chicking sound is produced. You can hear that effect on ‘Lover’s Concerto.’ Charlie did a great job on that record. For me, it was pretty much what we call ‘straight ahead.’ It was clever of the writers Denny Randell and Sandy Linzer combining their lyrics with a well known classical piece.”

This song was recorded at Olmstead Recording Studio in New York City. The song’s producer, Charles Calello, also recorded Lou Christie’s “Lightnin’ Strikes,” The Four Seasons’ “Let’s Hang On!,” and Soupy Sales’ “Do The Mouse” at that studio.

This song was an influence on The Supremes hit “I Hear A Symphony,” which was released a short time later, giving Motown their first #1 hit with elements of classical music.

 

Song Lyrics – 

How gentle is the rain
That falls softly on the meadow?
Birds high up in the trees
Serenade the flowers with their melodies

Oh-oh, see, there beyond the hill
The bright colors of the rainbow
Some magic from above
Made this day for us, just to fall in love

Now, I belong to you
From this day until forever
Just love me tenderly
And I’ll give to you every part of me

Oh-oh, don’t ever make me cry
Through long, lonely nights without love
Be always true to me
Keep this day in your heart eternally

Someday we shall return
To this place upon the meadow
We’ll walk out in the rain
Hear the birds above singing once again

Oh-oh, you hold me in your arms
And say once again you love me
And if your love is true
Everything will be just as wonderful

You’ll hold me in your arms
And say once again you love me
And if your love is true
Everything will be just as wonderful

You’ll hold me in your arms
And say once again you love me
And if your love is true

Writer/s: Sandy Linzer, Denny Randell