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The Vine: January 4, 2013

Submitted by on January 4, 2013 – 9:16 AM21 Comments


I'm hoping you can help with a song that's been stuck in my head ever since the late '80s or early '90s. It's a silly little pop song sung by a female artist, it went something like,

When I'm feeling sad and lon-e-ly,
I let the summer…chase, my blues, away.

Sung by a female with a high-pitched voice. The song is upbeat and peppy.

That's all I remember, and Google has failed me — help?

I listened to it on repeat during a maudlin breakup with my FIRST GREAT LOVE. Now, the whole thing is a laughable puddle of drivel, but I really would like to listen to it again, for old times' sake. It made me quite happy at the time. It may be a Canadian artist, but I'm not sure on that.




Okay, I really didn't want to have to do this; I am a librarian and have even been able to answer other people's Ask The Readers questions, but I am stuck on my own.

When I was a kid I was really into scary stories, and I would go to the library and check out pretty much any collection of scary stories they had. I remember reading one story that was about a kid (I think his family was rich) who would always break his toys; his parents would buy him these nice, fancy things, and before long they would be (intentionally?) destroyed. I think he would swear that it wasn't him or that it wouldn't happen again, his parents would buy him something new, the cycle would repeat, etc. The story ended with his parents buying him a stuffed tiger (though it might have been another big cat, or possibly a different animal altogether) that had eyes made of precious jewels. As the boy falls asleep, his mother slides her fingernail under the jeweled eye, beginning to destroy the tiger. Oh snap! It was the mom doing it all along!

I thought it was such a creepy story, but I have no idea what it was called or where I read it. I would guess I was between 8 and 12 at the time, so early nin, but I have no idea of the book was old or new, and I read both children's and adult books, so it could have been either. I was into the Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark books, and they were popular around that time, but I don't think it was one of them; in my memory the story just seems a little more sophisticated than those were. One collection I checked out a lot during this same period was Jane Yolen's Things That Go Bump in the Night, but I read through that one recently and it's not in there. I have literally been trying to track this story down for years, and I will be super grateful if anybody can help!



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  • mcm says:

    I feel certain that the song is the one that also includes the lyrics

    So just call me
    Pick up the phone and just call me
    Don't need a reason just call me
    And tell me that [something something something]

    But my efforts to google are not confirming it. Does that sound like it could be right, though?

  • Ashley says:

    #1 is Call Me by Petula Clark, yes?

  • Ashley says:

    Oh, wait, I thought the first comment was from the OP. The lyrics mcm quotes are "Call Me"; not sure about the OP's lyrics.

  • Amy M says:

    The song sounds like it could be the Nancy Sinatra version of Call Me.

  • Joel says:

    Thinking outside the box here and realizing your brain can meld songs lyrics and tunes together… it isn't "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston, is it? THe time period is right and it does include lyrics about chasing the blues away.

  • Tempest says:

    @Chase – I got nuthin' but I think I would enjoy a series of stories with an offering like that one.
    @F – First thing I thought of was Petula Clark's "Call Me" from the 1960s. But then I'm old – if it's a newer song (not just a recycle), then I don't know.

  • Kelly says:

    I know that song as one of the messages Harry leaves for Sally (in When Harry Met Sally, of course) when she stops talking to him for a long time. Because I'm a dork. But yes, it's called Call me.
    This is the most upbeat version I know of, but I'm sure there are tons of versions, so it's probably not the one you're thinking of!

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    I really really really want to know about the stuffed tiger story. REALLY.

  • dk says:

    I recognized it from When Harry Met Sally too! I can still hear Billy Crystal's distinctive voice saying "just…phone moi."

  • F says:

    Yay, my question! I am sad to say it's not Whitney Houston, Petula Clark, or Nancy Sinatra, although I liked listening to those.

    It could be "sunshine chase my blues away" or "summer chase the/those blues away"… I remember very clearly the tune, and I can hum it, although that doesn't help anything much! I do remember "lo-ne-ly" was stretched out into three syllables. "I let the summer" was much faster… then "chase. my blues. away." slower. Ugh, not explaining very well, am I? It was very upbeat; not bluesy at all.

    I hope it hasn't gone to where silly pop songs from the 90's die.

  • Judy says:

    Chipping in on the When Harry Met Sallys. I didn;t know it was even a real song! "If it's A or C, call me back…"

  • Molly says:

    F, if you've got a smartphone, have you tried humming as much of the melody as you can remember into the Soundhound or Shazam app to see if they can identify it?

  • Barb says:

    wild guesses… could the line be something like
    "i hope these pretty flowers chase the blues away"

    That is a line in "Red Roses for a Blue Lady."
    recorded by lots of people, and changed in diff. versions
    sometimes for gender. Among many people who covered it, one was Wayne Newton who i thought was female till i saw him on TV.

    i found 276 songs with the phrase "chase the blues away."
    Many of them are from "Red Roses…"

    i found 176 songs with the phrase"when I'm feeling sad and lonely."
    Many of those are covers include Call Me, so you can skip through a lot of them.

    Unfortunately, the search engine came up with no one song that had both those lines.

  • Profreader says:

    Okay – for some reason this song search has gripped my brain and I can't let it go. Since my google searches (like other posters') didn't turn up a song that contained all those lyrics or variations – I started following the clue that it might be a Canadian artist. I'm wondering if it could be Candi & the Backbeat (or a group like that.) Some of her songs are on YouTube – haven't found one that hits the mark specifically but the sound seems to be right – that "early 90s but sounds like 80s" fun pop. (I found this by searching "top Canadian pop songs 90s" and similar searches. The group's lyrics aren't on the main lyric sites – so they wouldn't be turning up in direct lyric searches.

    Do happen to recall the exact year? Were you listening to the song on the radio or was it on tape? Knowing the year, we could look at the Billboard charts for songs that were getting airplay.

  • VK says:


    Where did you listen to the song on repeat? Was it on the radio, a CD you had, a mix tape? Also, do you remember where you first heard it? What year was the year of the break up that had you listening to the song? Where were you living at the time? How old were you? Do you recall having seen a video for the song on VH1 or MTV at the time? What other kinds of music did you listen to at that point in your life?

    I'm usually pretty good at figuring out lost songs and this one sounds really familiar to me. Proofreader up there seems to be on to something too! Let's crush this.

  • RC says:

    Btw, if anyone was curious, I just tried it and singing into Soundhound totally works! Awesome! Maybe that could help with this song…

    I am also interested in the tiger story, I hope someone knows it!

  • Melissa says:

    The lyrics aren't right at all, but for some reason the song that popped into my head was the St. Etienne version of "Only Love Can Break Your Heart." It came out in 1990.

  • Jay says:

    Is the song 99 red balloons (or luftballons) by Nena?

  • tadpoledrain says:


    I know the story you're talking about, but I can't think of the title or author. I'll keep looking, but in the meantime, here are the additional details that I can remember.

    I read it in 1991 or 92, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't new then. I have a sense that the setting was old-fashioned? Which could mean anything from the 1920s to the 1970s to my younger self. I feel like the story was probably written in the 70s or 80s? It wasn't a children's story, and it wasn't in a collection of horror stories, or at least not when I read it — the copy I read was a photocopy of a magazine/ journal, and I always think of it as being a Christmas story, not a horror story, because that's when the story took place. I also feel like the author was someone well-known, but you'd think if that was the case then google would be of more use.

    The family was wealthy, socialite-types. I think they lived in a biggish city. I think the stuffed animal at the end was a lion, not a tiger, and I think it was described as having emerald(-colored) eyes. The mother may pry out the eyes with her fingernail, but she also slashes it with a knife. I'm pretty sure that earlier in the story some of the toys that were destroyed were tin soldiers. The boy sees the lion at a store (maybe FAO Schwarz? implied if not stated outright — I do feel like they live in NYC, and maybe even go ice skating or to watch the ice skaters, although now I could just be conflating things) and begs and pleads for it, and promises that he won't hurt it. He's really sad and hopeless, because he thinks he's been destroying all of his toys, but he doesn't know when or why, because of course he hasn't been. I think the mother is the one who convinces the father to buy it.

    I know a few years ago I had a photocopy of the story kicking around somewhere. I hope I didn't get rid of it in a fit of spring cleaning, but even if I still have it, I don't know where to start looking. I'll give it a try, though.

  • F says:

    Thanks Vine, for the great ideas! I've been working my way through them, trying to figure this one out.

    I tried singing into Shazam and it came up with nothing. Then I tried singing a few things I KNEW existed and it still came up with nothing, so I think I am just not very good at singing!

    Soundhound is my new favorite hobby. I get different suggestions every time!

    The St. Etienne is very close! Exciting. I'm going through the Candi and the backbeat songs and the pop charts. If I had to guess I would say 1990 was the year, but I'm really not sure. My current plan is to put St. Etienne into a Pandora/Songza station and just wait and hope.

    It was played on the radio (in Canada) and I recorded it to cassette tape. I'm sorry I didn't watch music videos then.

  • Chase says:

    Tadpoledrain! Yes! I'm so excited that someone even recognizes the story. I'm pretty sure the version I read was in a book, just because I don't think I would have been reading a magazine or anything like that at that age. It definitely could have been set during Christmas, and it could have been old-fashioned, but it could be that as a kid I just read them being rich as being old-fashioned ("Mummy do please buy me this stuffed lion!") I have a vague image of like a big penthouse apartment overlooking a city.

    It's so hard to do a search when I have all these vague images to go on but no solid details. I'm glad to know that at least I didn't hallucinate the whole thing. If you come up with a title or author, let me know!

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