Song 176: The Crystals, “Da Doo Ron Ron” (1963)

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If you’ve ever wondered what in the hell “da doo ron ron” means, stop worrying: it means nothing. The phrase was apparently just a filler phrase that songwriters Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich put in the lyrics until they could come up with something better, and Phil Spector told them it was perfect as it was. And it is, right?

Why is that? Why do we just accept that someone head-over-heels in love would say “da doo ron ron” as an expression of her affection? I think it’s because the narrator here is flummoxed, and it seems like she doesn’t know what else to say. It’s also the case that it doesn’t really matter what she says in the chorus, because she’s already said so much in the verses. As simplistic as the verses are (I particularly like how “his name was Bill” is repeated as if it’s very important information), they’re also direct: He caught my eye, he walked me home, we went out on a date, da doo ron ron. It’s almost like “da doo ron ron” is functioning like “yadda yadda yadda” or “et cetera.”

Like so many Phil Spector songs, the arrangement of “Da Doo Ron Ron” is something to behold: it thumps and jumps around, but that baritone sax grounds everything; just like the woman in the song, the song is jubilant but confident. It’s Spector at his best, and the Crystals don’t sound too bad, either. Like the pair’s other hit, “Then He Kissed Me,” the song makes love sound like the best thing in the world.

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One Comment on “Song 176: The Crystals, “Da Doo Ron Ron” (1963)”

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