Song Lyrics Sunday: It’s Getting Better

This week in Jim Adams’ Song Lyrics Sunday, we were to post a song with Good/Better/Best/Great. Yes, it was the Beatles song that first made me type in the words “It’s Getting Better” on YouTube. Being a longtime Beatles fan, I thought, yeah, this is one of the theme songs of my generation, of my life. It often comes into my head in the car or whenever someone says anything resembling the title.  But then I found another song with the same title – and I liked it, a lot! So I decided to choose this little known gem sung by Cass Elliot (“Mama Cass” of the Mamas and the Papas). The person who posted it on YouTube with the moniker “wearyoldman” says that the song was recorded in 1969. The Mamas and the Papas were not involved in this recording, although they are shown on the video. Cass Elliot died a tragic death in 1974 and Michelle Phillips is the only surviving member of the band. 

By the way, she never liked the name “Mama Cass.” (Would you, if it was associated with a line in one of their songs And no one’s gettin’ fat except Mama Cass??)

It’s Getting Better
Composed by Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil
Sung by Cass Elliot

Once I believed that when love came to me
It would come with rockets, bells and poetry
But with me and you
it just started quietly and grew
And believe it or not
Now there’s something groovy and good
‘Bout whatever we got

And it’s gettin’ better
Growing stronger warm and wilder
Gettin’ better everyday, better everyday

I don’t feel all turned on and starry eyed
I just feel a sweet contentment deep inside
Holding you at night
just seems kind of natural and right
And it’s not hard to see
That it isn’t half of what it’s gonna turn out to be

‘Cause it’s gettin’ better
Growing stronger, warm and wilder
Gettin’ better everyday, better everyday
Ba da da da da da da da da da da da

And I don’t mind waitin’,
I don’t mind waitin’
‘Cause no matter how long it takes
The two of us know

That it’s gettin better
Growing stronger, warm and wilder
Gettin better everyday, better everyday…

This song contains so much of the “pop song” spirit of the late 1960s, and as I listen to it, it makes me think of those days when I was a teenager longing for love, even though I don’t remember ever hearing this song before. Maybe it’s the familiarity of her great pop song voice.

The song was written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and was included on Cass Elliot’s solo album Bubblegum, Lemonade and… Something for Mama, released in June 1969. The Wrecking Crew, a regular back-up band for the Mamas and the Papas, were among the instrumentalists for this album.

It’s Getting Better, however, was not a new song. The first known recording was by the Vogues on their Reprise Records release, Turn Around, Look at Me in August of 1968. Also in 1968, it was featured on an album by Leonard Nimoy (I never knew he sang!), The Way I Feel, released in October. A New York based trio that recorded many Mann-Weil songs, called The Will-o-Bees, had a singles release of It’s Getting Better on the SGC label. However, Cass Elliot was the only artist with top name recognition that had recorded the song, and it was her version that became well-known.

Since then, though, it has been covered by a number of well-known artists around the world. It’s just a happy, feel-good song, which is how I would like to remember “Mama” Cass Elliot.

Background information was obtained from a Wikipedia article.

See also 50 years ago, July 5, 1969… in Rock & Roll Globe.

3 thoughts on “Song Lyrics Sunday: It’s Getting Better

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