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Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter by Herman's Hermits

Album: Introducing Herman's HermitsReleased: 1965Charted:
1
  • This song is about a guy who is heartbroken over losing his girl, so he decides to tell her mother all about it. It was originally sung by the actor Tom Courtenay in a 1963 British television play called The Lads, which Herman's Hermits lead singer Peter Noone recorded to tape. He and the band learned the song and started playing it in their live sets, especially at weddings where Noone would customize the lyrics ("Mrs. Smith, you've got a lovely daughter..."). Since the song had appeared in a TV play, the group could play it in England without paying royalties.

    When they recorded their first album in 1964, they needed one more song to complete it and were running out of studio time. Since they were familiar with this song, they recorded it with the little time they had left, completing the song in one take.
  • The song was written by Trevor Peacock, who was also appearing in the play. Peacock is well known to British TV audiences for playing the part of Jim Trott in the BBC sitcom The Vicar of Dibley.
  • "Mrs. Brown" wasn't pegged as a single, but after an American DJ started giving it airplay, their record label issued it as a 45 and it became their first US #1 (in their native Britain it was never released as a single). Later in the year they returned to the top of the American charts with their revival of the old British musical number "I'm Henry The VIII, I Am."
  • Hermits guitarist Derek Leckenby got the distinctive sound by muting his guitar strings. When performing the song, he would put a rag under the strings to get the effect. The Beatles used a similar guitar sound on "I Will."
  • When this was #1 in America, Time magazine published an article called "Rock 'n' Roll: The Sound of the Sixties" that validated rock music as much more than a passing fad. It stated:

    "Last week the man of the moment was Herman, 16, of Herman's Hermits. An engaging high school dropout who looks like a toy sheep dog, Herman (real name: Peter Noone) smiles a lot, claps his hands over his head, and sticks his finger in his mouth when he sings. His 'Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter,' rendered in a heavy English Midlands accent, was the #1 bestseller last week."
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Comments: 9

On July 3rd 1966, "This Door Swings Both Way" by Herman's Hermits entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #78; and on August 7th, 1966 it peaked at #12 (for 1 week) and spent 8 weeks on the Top 100 (on its 8th & final week on the chart it was at #46)...
It reached #8 in New Zealand...
It broke the string of nine straight Top 10 records by the group; started with "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" (#2), "Silhouettes" (#5), "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter" (#1), "Wonderful World" (#4), "I'm Henry the Eighth, I Am" (#1), Just A Little Bit Better" (#7), "A Must To Avoid" (#8), "Listen People" (#3), and finally "Leaning On the Lamp Post" (#9)...
The group's next release got them back on the Top 10 when "Dandy" peaked at #5.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
On June 6th 1965, Herman's Hermits performed "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
Two months earlier on April 11th, 1965 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #12; and two weeks later on April 25th it peaked at #1 (for 3 weeks) and spent 11 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 7 of those 11 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
And on May 22nd it also reached #1 (for 4 weeks) on the Australian Kent Music Report chart...
Between 1964 and 1968 the group had nineteen Top 100 hits, eleven made the Top 10 with two reaching #1 (the other #1 was "I'm Henry The Eighth, I Am" for 4 weeks, also in 1965).
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
I was raised in the Midwest, and I remember hearing a girl's answer to this song. It was "Mrs. Smith Your Son Gives Up Too Easy". Cute song! I've searched the Internet and haven't been able to find any info on it, though.Diane - Nashville, Tn
The chorus ("don't let on now" till "ain't no good to pine") always reminded me of Louis Armstrong's own #1 hit from the previous year "Hello Dolly". To Camille, I agree but the guitar sounded more like a electric banjo! Barry, correct! Four songs placed in the charts by the Hermits just in the first half of 1965. Correct about the tone, Guy, about the spong. Jun, I don't know about the other song but somehow VERY strangely seem to recall a Mrs. Smith song. Michael, I've read about Tom Courtney being the singer of the original song, too.Steve - Whittier, Ca
All the young girls loved that fabulous sounding English accent of Peter Noone. That he was pining away for a girl who "doesn't love me now" made him all that more irresistible. And that guitar adds to the flavor of the song.Camille - Toronto, Oh
Tom Courtneys version was far better as it related to a bloke far away from his girl.. his was the original..years beforeMichael - Peterborough South Aus., Australia
Strange rankings; "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" peaked at #2 on the weekly chart and was #8 on the year-end chart; while both "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter" and "I'm Henry the VIII, I Am" peaked at #1 on the weekly chart but finsihed respectively at #12 & #46 on the year-end chart. Even "Silhouettes", which peaked at #5 on the weekly chart and was ranked at #22 on the year-end chart beat out "I'm Henry the VIII, I Am", whch was #1 weekly but only #46 at year-end!!! Copy & paste: http://www.musicoutfitters.com/topsongs/1965.htmBarry - Sauquoit, Ny
I thought I read somewhere that there was a song in answer to or based on this song entitled something like "Mrs. Smith, I Want To Marry Your Daughter"? Please clarify. Who was the artist?Jun - Manila, Other
Just a delightful, sweet song. Rather bittersweet, how he accepts that she's left him as he communicates with her mother.Guy - Woodinville, Wa
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