I got a lot o’ livin’ to do (to make it fun it takes two)

THERE IS A MEMORABLE SCENE in the 2006 movie Little Miss Sunshine that takes place in the family Volkswagen van. The grandfather gives some unasked-for ‘life advice’ to his grandson. I won’t repeat the advice; see the movie. But it’s great advice about how to make it fun it takes two (of course it’s coarse). I have already bestowed its wisdom on younger humans—male and female—who asked appropriate ‘life questions’ of me.

The old man’s advice sits comfortably alongside a little saw that I have tried to keep in mind since I was in college:

I don’t want you making the same mistakes I made when I was young. This is the voice of experience talking!

When I’m old and decrepit, sitting on a rocking chair on the porch of some nursing home, do I want to look back at my life and reflect on all the things that I didn’t do and sigh to everyone in listening range, “Ooooh, I wish I had done that!”

Or do I want to look back at the many, many things I did do and think, “Damn, maybe I shouldn’t have done that one!” And then chuckle quietly to myself and have lots of stories to tell the other old farts on the porch with me?

For some reason, this got me thinking of Elvis and Loving You and that movie’s main song, Got A Lot O’ Livin’ To Do. Written by Ben Weisman and Aaron Schroeder, the song is a high-octane jolt of positive vibes, especially with the recurring phrase, “To make it fun it takes two.” 1


Make it fun with Elvis in Nudie suit for Loving You.

This publicity photo for Loving You has Elvis in the second costume designed for him by Nudie Cohn, the first being the famous gold suit. This photo is so retouched by the art department that it looks like a painting of Elvis rather than a photo!

Making fun takes two

This led me to post a link to the soundtrack recording on Facebook with the following statement appended to the link:

This is one of Elvis’s message songs and the message is simple: Time’s a wasting! There’s a lot of kisses I ain’t been tasting. I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna get my share. So, wuddaya waiting for? Go get your share!”

When I wrote those words, I was listening to Elvis but hearing Alan Arkin’s advice to Paul Dano.

Then I thought to add some of the lyrics to the Facebook posting and rather than type them out from memory, I went to one of the main lyrics websites and copied the lyrics from there.

Except, like so many times in the past when I have utilized these sites, they got the bloody lyrics wrong! And what they got wrong was the very phrase that I was connecting with the Arkin quote!


Make it fun with Alan Arkin and Paul Dano in van in Little Miss Sunshine.

Be-here-now-hippie Grandpa (Alan Arkin) passing along the wisdom of the ages to this disengaged-from-the-world-around-him grandson Dwayne (Paul Dano) in the 2006 movie Little Miss Sunshine. “I don’t want you making the same mistakes I made when I was young. Listen to me, this is the voice of experience talking. I got no reason to lie to you kid.”

Or at least, I think it was incorrect; I grew up in the ’60s listening to LSP-1515(e) with RCA Victor’s atrocious electronically reprocessed stereo effects. Take Presley’s sometimes rushed, sometimes slurred words and boost the bass and add echo and create two channels out of one and pretty soon those words are incomprehensible.

How did they get “Come on baby, to make a party takes two” out of “Come on baby, to make it fun it takes two”?

• Here is what I heard Elvis sing in the song’s chorus for years on that crappy album: Come on baby, making fun takes two.

• Here is what the big players like MetroLyrics and AZ Lyrics tell me Elvis was singing: Come on baby, to make a party takes two.

• Here is what less-used sites like Mojim, Subzin, and Classic Country Song Lyrics tell me Elvis was singing: Come on baby, to make it fun it takes two.

Now, you would think it would be damn easy to differentiate between “fun” and “party,” but often it’s not. So I turned to the actual recording for (hopeful) clarification.


How did they get “Come on baby to make a party takes two” out of “Come on baby to make it fun it takes two”?


To make it fun it takes two

There are three versions of this song: the one that was issued on vinyl, tape, and compact disc was recored on January 12, 1957, at Radio Recorders (matrix number H2WB 0255-09), days before the soundtrack recordings.

There are two versions of this song in the movie sung by Deke Rivers (Presley), both recorded a few days later between January 15-18 at Paramount’s Scoring Stage.

I tested drove each, giving them repeated listenings. And what I now hear is what the lesser sites hear: “to make it fun it takes two.” For this article, I am just using the record version for demonstration.


Make it fun with original 78 rpm single of Got A Lot O' Livin' To Do by Elvis Presley from UK.

In England, both HMV and RCA Victor were releasing Elvis records. Released in October, Party / Got A Lot O’ Livin’ To Do (RCA 1020) was the eighth Presley single of 1957 and was another double-sided hit! On the Melody Maker survey, the A-side reached #1 while the B-side got to #8. This is one of two pressings of the 78 rpm single from ’57.

The Elvis Presley record version

This is the complete version recorded on January 12 at Radio Recorders (H2WB 0255-09), days before the soundtrack recordings above. It was released on the extended-play EP soundtrack album LOVING YOU – VOLUME 2 (EPA-1515-2) and long-play LP soundtrack album LOVING YOU (LPM-1515).


Oh, yes, I got a lot a living to do,
whole lot a loving to do!
Come on, baby, to make it fun it takes two.
Oh yes, I got a lot a living to do,
whole lot a loving to do!
Well there’s no one who I’d rather do it with than you.

There’s a moon that’s big and bright
in the Milky Way tonight,
but the way you act you never would know it’s there!
Now, baby, time’s a wasting,
a lot of kisses I ain’t been tasting.
I don’t know about you,
but I’m a gonna get my share.

I got a lot a loving to do,
whole lot a loving to do!
Come on, baby, to make it fun it takes two.
Oh, yes, I got a lot a living to do,
whole lot a loving to do!
Well there’s no one who I’d rather do it with than you.

There’s a balmy little breeze
that’s whistling through the trees,
and it’s telling you to pitch a little woo with me.
Why don’t you take a listen?
You’ll never know what you’ve been missing.
Cuddle up a little close and be my little honey bee.

I got a lot a living to do
got a lot a loving to do!

Come on, baby, to make it fun it takes two.
Oh, yes, I got a lot a living to do,
whole lot a loving to do!
Well there’s no one who I’d rather do it with than you.

You’re the prettiest thing I’ve seen,
but you treat me so doggone mean.
Ain’t you got no heart?
I’m dying to hold you near.
Why do you keep me waiting?
Why don’t you start cooperating?
Ain’t the things I say, the things you want to hear?

I got a lot a living to do,
well, I got a lot a loving to do!
Come on, baby, to make it fun it takes two.
Oh, yes, I got a lot a living to do
well, I got a lot a loving to do!
Well, there’s no one who I’d rather do it with than you!
There’s no one who I’d rather do it with than you!
Well, there’s no one who I’d rather do it with than you!
2


Make it fun with original 1957 LP of LOVING YOU by Elvis Presley from Japan.

This is the original LP album of LOVING YOU as it was issued in Japan in 1957 (RCA Victor LS-5048). It is a rather rare record and easily sells for a thousand dollars in collectable condition.

The Deke Rivers movie versions

Got A Lot O’ Livin’ To Do is performed by Elvis twice in Loving You: in the first few minutes of the movie, Deke Rivers is coerced into performing by his buddy (who is not named in the movie but is played by Skip Young): “Give him a little boogie woogie—that’ll get him started!”

He takes the stage with a small country & western band (seven minutes into the movie), who do give him a little “boogie boogie” beat and he sings. This launches the plot and Deke is seduced into the world of politics and entertainment.


This version consists of the first and third verses of the complete studio version along with two choruses.

By the end of the movie, our boy has come around: he is both a success as an entertainer and as a human being. The finale is a song scene with a fairly mobile Elvis dancing and gyrating on and off a small stage.


This version consists of the first verse of the complete studio version along with three choruses.


POSTSCRIPTUALLY, a double-feature that you might consider for an upcoming weekend of movie-watching, popcorn-eating, and beer-drinking could be Loving You (Elvis with Lizabeth Scott, Wendell Corey, and Dolores Hart) followed by Little Miss Sunshine (Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Abigail Breslin, Paul Dano, Steve Carell, and Alan Arkin)


Make it fun with poster from Little Miss Sunshine featuring Alan Arkin.

FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page is a poster for the movie Little Miss Sunshine featuring Alan Arkin as the old, worldly, but crotchety hippie grandfather who loves women and hates chicken. 3



FOOTNOTES:

1   Whatever possessed two guys with the last names of Weisman and Schroeder to change “Got a Lot Of Living To Do” to “Got a Lot O’ Livin’ To Do” is beyond me.

2   There are other ways to break up the lines in these lyrics. The way that I present it here, the songs consists of chorus / verse / chorus / verse / chorus / verse / chorus.

3   Mr Arkin is a bit of a hero to many of us for his role as Yossarian the ultimate non-hero protagonist in the brilliant but under-appreciated movie version of Catch-22.


Comedian Peter Kay’s presentation of his mis-hearing of lyrics in pop songs of the past few decades has very little to do with this article, but is funny and should be viewed. I suppose it would be a helluvalot funnier if I had ever heard most of these songs before . . .



 

TO MAKE FUN IT TAKES TWO!
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