Turtles – Elenore

I had this single as a kid. I had a cool cousin who had a lot of records in the sixties and she gave many to me when she found out I liked sixties bands.

The song was written by the band as a protest against their record company White Whale. Lead singer Howard Kaylan: It was never intended to be a straight-forward song. It was meant as an anti-love letter to White Whale (their record company), who were constantly on our backs to bring them another ‘Happy Together.’ So I gave them a very skewed version. Not only with the chords changed, but with all these bizarre words. It was my feeling that they would listen to how strange and stupid the song was and leave us alone. But they didn’t get the joke. They thought it sounded good. Truthfully, though, the production on ‘Elenore’ WAS so damn good. Lyrically or not, the sound of the thing was so positive that it worked. It certainly surprised me.” 

The song peaked at #6 in the Billboard 100 in 1968. I have always liked the Turtles. They never took themselves seriously and they had a good time in the sixties and were quite successful.


From Songfacts

The line, “You’re my pride and joy etcetera” ends the main chorus of this song. This was a dig at their record label, White Whale, who had been hounding them for another “Happy Together,” which was The Turtles’ big hit in 1967. They quickly threw together this overly-clichéd song (“Gee I think you’re swell”) and it proceeded to be another smash despite their best effort at sabotage. In the liner notes of The Turtles’ Anthology Solid Zinc, Howard Kaylan of The Turtles explained: “Elenore was a parody of ‘Happy Together.’

Many of The Turtles’ hits were composed by other writers, but this one they wrote themselves. The whole band was given writer credit: Howard Kaylan, Mark Volman, Al Nichols, Jim Pons and John Barbata.


You got a thing about you
I just can’t live without you
I really want you Elenore near me
Your looks intoxicate me
Even though your folks hate me
There’s no one like you Elenore really

Elenore gee I think you’re swell
And you really do me well
You’re my pride and joy et cetera
Elenore can I take the time
To ask you to speak your mind
Tell me that you love me better

I really think you’re groovy
Let’s go out to a movie
What do ya say now, Elenore can we?
They’ll turn the lights way down low
Maybe we won’t watch the show
I think I love you, Elenore, love me

Elenore, gee I think you’re swell
And you really do me well
You’re my pride and joy, et cetera
Elenore, can I take the time
To ask you to speak your mind?
Tell me that you love me better

One more time!

Elenore, gee I think you’re swell, ah-hah
Elenore, gee I think you’re swell, ah-hah-hah

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

29 thoughts on “Turtles – Elenore”

      1. No…it was a pretty bad recording…
        offtopic Man I just saw “Yesterday”…. good movie man…a world without the Beatles would suck lol.


    1. Flo and Eddie…they went on to open up for a lot of bands in the 70s and 80s until they regrouped as the Turtles in the 80s… The guy in the fro lives in Brentwood TN and is a professor of music…cool guys.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. That’s a hilarious backstory. So, the Turtles couldn’t miss in those days even when they tried, haha. Anyone who hasn’t seen ‘My Dinner With Jimi’ needs to track down a copy and watch it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been wanting to see that ever since I read his book.
      Right before you someone mentioned Pirate Radio and how this song is in there…That was a great movie suggestion by you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s great to know others love Pirate Radio too. I just looked up My Dinner With Jimi on Amazon, and the prices are all $50+. What the heck?? I’m sure I paid a typical DVD price for mine, probably about 10 years ago. They need to release it to the streaming channels.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes when I looked for it…it was crazy. I bought a Badfinger book in late 2000…I wanted another copy and now it lists at $675.00 in some places.

        I guess good taste has it’s price lol. I’m going to look for My Dinner With Jimi again. I’m also going to check with my IT friends to see if anyone has it.


      3. That was quite an investment in the book! Holy moly.

        I’m sure I’ve seen My Dinner With Jimi listed in Netflix or one of the other streaming channels at one time. Maybe they’ll offer it again before long.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yea I bought my copy for 15 bucks I believe when it came out.
        I’ll be looking…you haven’t steered me wrong plus this one is right up my alley.

        I’ve watched If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium twice…my crush for Suzanne Pleshette will never die lol.

        Brian Jones was in the Jimi story also right?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yes, Brian Jones, Graham Nash, Donovan, The Moody Blues, The Beatles and more.

        I’m glad you like ‘If It’s Tuesday…’. I can watch it over and over again. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. mad on this song at the time and still. I loved the etcetera bit, though I wasn’t aware it was a parody until years later. The melody and production elevated it above their own records that it was parodying – oh the irony 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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