And the sailor says, Brandy, you're a fine girl, (YOU’RE A FINE GIRL), what a good wife you would be (SUCH A FINE GIRL), but my life, my lover, my lady is the sea (DOODA-DITTA-DOODA-DIT-DOODA-DIT-DOODA-DIT)
On this day in music history: August 26, 1972 - “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week. Written by Eliot Lurie, it is the biggest hit for the New Jersey based band. Formed in 1969 while the members are students at Rutgers University, the original line up breaks up after graduating from college. Remaining members Eliot Lurie (lead vocals, guitar) and Larry Gonsky (piano), recruit new members Pieter Sweral (bass) and Jeff Grob (drums) to fill out the line up. The song was originally titled “Randy” (about an old girlfriend). The band initially cut the track with songwriter and producer Sandy Linzer (“A Lover’s Concerto”, “Native New Yorker”, “Fresh”), but scrap the original version when they are unsatisfied with the results. Working with Bob Liftin and Mike Gershman, they re-record the track which be the one that is released. The song is also remixed numerous times after its recorded, until the band feel that is right. The LP and 45 mixes have noticeable differences, with the single being sped up slightly and featuring prominent percussion. The album runs longer and is featured at its original recorded speed. When Epic Records releases the single in May of 1972, it is as the as the B-side of the song “One By One”. Harv Moore at WPGC in Washington DC prefers “Brandy” instead and within three weeks, it is the number one single on the station. Entering the Billboard Hot 100 at #68 on June 17, 1972, it climbs to the top of the Hot 100 ten weeks later, temporarily interrupting Gilbert O'Sullivan’s six week run at the top with “Alone Again (Naturally)”. “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
In reply, Dex snuggled deeper into the blankets- or at least, as deep as he could get into what little he had. Chowder was a huge blanket hog, made all the worse because he was, well, Chowder, and you couldn’t really stay mad at him for long.
“Psst,” Nurse repeated. “Dex, hey.”
Dex screwed his eyes shut tighter, frowning into his pillow, stubbornly clinging to the peace and quiet that had settled over their blanket fort like a blanket all its own.
“PSST,” Nurse said again.
Damn it, Dex thought, before finally turning to face him, propping himself up on an elbow.
“What do you want?”
Nursey opened his mouth, then stopped and let it close again. A long moment passed.
“I forgot,” he admitted.
Dex just looked at him. He let his head fall back and turned his gaze up to the ceiling of the fort, staring at it while questioning his life choices.
“That’s on you, not me. Maybe if you hadn’t taken so long to reply I’d’ve remembered,” Nursey grumbled.
Dex looked at him again and said nothing.
“Don’t look at me like that. You don’t have the right. Me and C are always waiting on you, you shouldn’t be surprised when things like this happen.”
Dex huffed in exasperation and returned to a semi-sitting position.
“What does that even mean?” He asked.
“You know Chowder. He wouldn’t stop talking about all the things he wanted us to do together once you finally got back from summer vacation. Tired himself out with all the excitement and waiting.”
Dex glanced down at the sleeping lump between them. It was true he was usually the last one up between the three of them.
“We’re like those ladies who wander the beach, biding our time until our sailor man returns from the sea,” Nursey continued.
Something small and angry sprang to life inside Dex, lending its teeth to give Dex’s voice a slight edge.
“I don’t know what you want me to say. An apology? You already know I don’t go out there for the fun of it.”
“I was only-damn. You’re right. Just forget it, all right?”
Great. Dex dragged his hands over his face, the frustration melting into exhaustion. He’d just got back to Samwell that day. Things were supposed to be good, he’d wanted them to be good. He’d wanted to leave behind all the rest in the summer where it belonged, though he’d always known that of course, he couldn’t. Still, usually it took a little longer before it all came rushing back. But now-
Dex turned that over in his head, and only then did something Nurse had said strike him as familiar. He laughed, strangely, and Nurse looked at him in concern.
“You paying attention?” He asked.
“You know that I am,” Nursey replied.
Dex lay back down, closed his eyes and let out a long breath.
“Good. Because this is never happening again.”
“What’re you-” Nurse began, though he trailed off into stunned silence when Dex started to quietly sing.
“Nursey wears a braided chain
Made of finest silver from the North of Spain
A locket that bears the name
Of a man that Nursey loves
He came on a summer’s day
Bringin’ gifts from far away
But he made it clear he couldn’t stay
No harbor was his home
The sailors say “Nursey,
you’re a fine man.
What a good partner you’d be.
But my life, my lover, my lady is the sea.”“
For a moment, there was nothing but a silence so complete that Dex wondered if Nursey was holding his breath, too.
The moment ended as quickly as it began, with both of them scrabbling up and away in surprise when the lump between them abruptly sat up, continuing the song in a warbling, muffled voice despite the fort falling apart around them.
"Yeah, Nursey used to watch his eyes
When he told his sailor stories
He could feel the ocean fall and rise
He saw its ragin’ glory
But he had always told the truth, lord, he was an honest man.
And Nursey does his best to understand!”
“Jesus, Chowder, give a guy a warning, would you?” Nursey complained.
But Dex could tell he wasn’t just flustered from the shock alone, and as Chowder pulled the blankets over his head and smiled sheepishly at both of them, he felt something warm settle in his chest; the undeniable feeling that he’d come home.