1 of The Monkees’ Songs Had to Be Rewritten So It Was About an Older Woman

TL;DR:

  • Peter Tork couldn’t stop listening to one of The Monkees’ songs.
  • He really liked one of the lyrics Micky Dolenz wrote for the track.
  • Some of the song’s original lyrics were rewritten by a rock star.
The Monkees' Peter Tork, Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones, and Micky Dolenz with a white background
The Monkees’ Peter Tork, Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones, and Micky Dolenz | Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer

Micky Dolenz wrote one of The Monkees‘ songs with a rock star. Dolenz felt the original version of the song had to be rewritten so it was about an older woman. Subsequently, the song appeared on the hit album Good Times!

Peter Tork said a line from The Monkees’ songs was ‘perfect’

During a 2016 interview with Goldmine, Peter Tork was asked which track from the album Good Times! he listened to repeatedly. “The song that keeps coming to mind is ‘She Makes Me Laugh‘ written by Rivers Cuomo; it’s an earworm,” he said. For context, Cuomo is the lead singer of the band Weezer.

“I’m not sure I think it’s that great exactly but Micky wrote the line ‘directing traffic in the mall,’ which is a great line,” Tork said. “There was a line that didn’t seem to work and he and [producer] Adam [Schlesinger] were chattering and chattering and Micky said, ‘directing traffic in the mall.’ It’s perfect for what that song is trying to do.”

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The rewritten version of the song features references to ‘Scrabble’ and canoes

During a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Dolenz discussed how “She Makes Me Laugh” evolved. “We all agree that the lyrics in the Rivers Cuomo song needed to be aged up a little bit,” Dolenz says. “It sounds like it’s about a little girl and I’m 70 years old, so Rivers is rewriting the lyrics.”

According to Rolling Stone, Cuomo did rewrite the lyrics. The final version of the song includes references to canoe trips and Scrabble to make it age-appropriate. Cuomo was glad to alter the song for Dolenz.

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How The Monkees’ ‘She Makes Me Laugh’ and ‘Good Times!’ performed in the United States and the United Kingdom

“She Makes Me Laugh” did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. Meanwhile, Good Times! was a modest hit. It peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for four weeks. Good Times! became the Prefab Four’s final studio album to chart in the United States.

According to The Official Charts Company, “She Makes Me Laugh” did not chart in the United Kingdom either. Meanwhile, Good Times! reached No. 29 in the U.K. It stayed on the chart for one week. Good Times! was also the Prefab Four’s final studio album to chart in the U.K.

“She Makes Me Laugh” is a great song — even if it wasn’t perfect on the first try.

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