Won't You Fondle Me? [Version (a)]:
Won't you fondle me?
Turn a ruse to a revelry
From who knows where to history
Oh walk into fire and burn with me
Won't you comfort me?
Set me free where I long to be
Free as any fool who's tried to see
Where life outside their shell might lead
Won't you take what's mine?
Like a doppelganger on borrowed time
In a context you could not define
Upon a rubicon of blasphemy
Won't you fondle me?
One hand loose and one hand free
Underneath the old oak tree
Oh come and lose a day with me
Some hands are uncouth and some are unkind
Some lose their touch and find they're reaching out blind
But yours have a way of knowing what's on my mind
Then you tell it to me anyway
In order to make Song Reader
more authentic, Beck filled out the artwork with fragments of songs and melodies, as well as fictional album collections and made-up song titles.
"Won't You Fondle Me?" is one of the fragments, though Beck wrote so much of it (4 verses and a bridge), that it's more or less complete as is.
The artwork claims that this song is "a dainty story of olden love days" and was sung to great acclaim by Mme. Galli-Curci. That is a reference to a famous opera singer in the early 1900s named Amelita Galli-Curci. [link
] The artwork also lists the "Huebert Music Company." Ian Huebert drew the illustration on the front of this sheet music ("Last Night You Were Dream").
Further tying it back to actual sheet music, as most of Song Reader
does, the title is borrowed from an older song by Herman Palley and James Kendis written in 1904 (some sites seem to credit it earlier). Check it out here
Anyway, Beck's song is pretty great, as it reads anyway. The four terrific verses borrow some of Beck's typical language (revelries, rubicons, shells, etc.), but the cool mix of light-heartedness and depth impresses. I mean to go from "won't you fondle me?" to "walk into fire and burn with me" in four short lines? Genius. And if these lines are simply lines to get someone to fondle him under the old oak tree, they're pretty adept come-ons.
This is absolutely a highlight of Song Reader
, even though it wasn't one of the main songs.