No. 11 in Top 50 Bee Gees’ Songs 1966-72
By Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb
Lead Vocals: Maurice & Robin(?)
Album Horizontal 1968
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“All the people will stare as she falls to the ground”
Day Time Girl appears to be about a relationship that ends because of a girl’s reluctance to sleep with her lover who is left with the sense that she used him. His consolation is that she is headed for a fall and will look back ‘remembering all she has missed’.
For such an extraordinarily pretty concoction ‘Day Time Girl’ masks a sourness in keeping with Horizontal’s depressed feel. Its heart is every bit as dark as the three much heavier songs which follow to close the album. The story is the man’s but in conjuring the girl’s very flowery untouchability, he uses this against her, as if to pin her down and then let her go.
Bill Shepherd ‘s arrangement weaves a graceful, classically-trained string and woodwind waltz around this tale of regret and, it has to be said, ill will. The phrasing of the verses almost seem to have about them a kind of sunken, melancholic sullenness. The fluctuating major-minor melody swells at the bridge as if the singer grows strong in his sense that he has been wronged. There is the lovely touch of a (Beatlesque) diminished third in the falling – ‘she took advantage of this’. At times, the song sounds as if it might semi-expire during its pauses until the Day Time Girl takes her leave in a weightless, breathless whirl of harp and strings.
Put like this, Day Time Girl perhaps doesn’t sound like the most attractive of propositions. But the loveliness of its melody and the song’s elegant restraint cannot but fail to impress. Maurice brings a delicacy to his piano playing and the vocals (probably Maurice and Robin though at times sounding also like Barry) are admirably refined.
The brothers tackled ‘classic folk’, as they termed it,* elsewhere but never so exquisitely as here.
* Robin in Horizontal (Rhino CD re-issue 2006), accompanying booklet, page 4.