Go Away Little Girl

Album: Greatest Hits (1962)
Charted: 1
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • #1 on both the Pop and Adult Contemporary charts in America, "Go Away Little Girl" was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. It was their follow-up hit to "Take Good Care Of My Baby," and was originally intended for Bobby Vee. Aldon music producer Don Kirshner, upon hearing the piece, immediately thought of Steve Lawrence and gave it to him instead of Vee.
  • Steve Lawrence, better known as one-half of an act billed as "Steve and Eydie" with his wife Eydie Gorme, had a respectable career with several charting hits from 1957 to 1964. He even shared a stage with the likes of Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews, and also had an acting career. And finally, he won awards including one Tony, two Emmys, and a New York Drama Critics' Circle. So why isn't he better known today? Because of this song. You can track the story through the charts: he was hitting in the Top 10 consistently, then this song became his #1, and after that, he would only chart in the mid-20s and 30s.

    A negative article in the New York Times sparked a controversy, where a columnist believed the song was referring to an under age girl and derided it as "sick." Songwriter Gerry Goffin even had Times reporters coming to him with sneers asking, "So you like to molest little girls, eh?" A similar controversy would break out over the song "Young Girl" in 1968, which just goes to show that moral guardians continue to have far dirtier minds than the songwriters they're supposed to be protecting us from.
  • Steve Lawrence would go on, a few years later, to sing the vocal version of the theme to the hit TV series Bewitched. Bewitched was itself another hit in a long '60s fad of TV sitcoms featuring magical females - other examples include I Dream of Jeannie and Nanny and the Professor. Why the sudden popularity for contemporary females with fantastic powers? Women's liberation was coming to the front and center of the Western world right at the same time, and one of the first things we do with a previously oppressed class of people is make a superhero out of them. Ask a comic book fan for further details.
  • The song reached the US Top 20 on two other occasions: for The Happenings in 1966 (US #12), and for Donny Osmond in 1971 (US #1). It was the first single to be taken to the peak position by two different artists.

    Mark Wynter's 1962 cover of the song also made the UK Singles Chart, reaching #6.

Comments: 1

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaI'm with Garry, some people read sex into everything.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Kip Winger

Kip WingerSongwriter Interviews

The Winger frontman reveals the Led Zeppelin song he cribbed for "Seventeen," and explains how his passion for orchestra music informs his songwriting.

Psychedelic Lyrics

Psychedelic LyricsMusic Quiz

Whoa man! Do you know which band came up with these cosmic lyrics?

Amy Grant

Amy GrantSongwriter Interviews

The top Contemporary Christian artist of all time on song inspirations and what she learned from Johnny Carson.

Tony Banks of Genesis

Tony Banks of GenesisSongwriter Interviews

Genesis' key-man re-examines his solo career and the early days of music video.

Colin Hay

Colin HaySongwriter Interviews

Established as a redoubtable singer-songwriter, the Men At Work frontman explains how religion, sobriety and Jack Nicholson play into his songwriting.

Victoria Williams

Victoria WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

Despite appearances on Carson, Leno and a Pennebaker film, Williams remains a hidden treasure.