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:

“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!

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.

 

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.”

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 recorded 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 Makersurvey, 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 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).

NOTE: I keep posting URLs to YouTube videos for the Elvis Presley and Deke Rivers ver­sions of these record­ings of Got A Lot O’ Livin’ To Do but they keep get­ting deleted from YouTube. So if you are in­ter­ested you are going to have to find what­ever ver­sions are cur­rently avail­able on the in­ternet.

Oh, yes, I got a lot a living to do,
a 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,
a 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,
a 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,
a 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,
a 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 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.

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.

 

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

 

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)

 


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.

 

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