Music Article

10. Have I the Right?

The Honeycombs

Image credit: The Honeycombs: Keystone/Getty Images

Chart Flashback: How does ''Have I the Right?'' hold up today?

This is one peppy little number — so peppy, in fact, that I am willing to overlook its slightly nonsensical lyrics and just clap along. Won't you join me? I mean, gosh, how can you not like this band? First of all, chick drummer! (Whose name is Honey!) (And whose drumming inspired Karen Carpenter!) (Could there be a less flattering photo of her than this one?) Secondly: This song bumped ''A Hard Day's Night'' out of the No. 1 spot on the British charts back in August of 1964, and that makes them a scrappy little underdog who made it big (just like me)! Love the beat, love the chirpy vocals, love the aa-ooos in the background... but now, seriously, let's take a look at these lyrics:

''Have I the right to hold you?'' (Well, that's sweet; he's asking permission. No date rape here!)
''You know I've always told you / That we must never, ever part.'' (Goodness, that certainly got creepy.)
''Have I the right to kiss you?'' (Very gentlemanly once again...)
''You know I'll always miss you'' (Wait. Where has she gone? I thought they weren't allowed to part?)
''I've loved you from the very start'' (Aw.)
''Grrr'' — (Um.)
''Come right back / I just can't bear it / I've got some love and I want to share it / Come right back / I'll show my love is strong, oh yeah...'' (So clearly, she has gone away, this woman he loves... and if I were her, I'd stay gone. That ''we must never, ever part'' bit has really taken a nasty turn for the stalkeriffic, hasn't it? Still: toe-tapping!) B+

Originally posted Oct 23, 2006

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