6.17-IT'S WONDERFUL (Young Rascals)

Young Rascals


     It's wonderful! It’s wonderful!

Tell you a story,
   May seem hard to believe in
   Kind of deceivin’:
All of my glory
   Made me much more aware
   Of the problem we share.
   If we unite it'll all turn out right.

     It's wonderful! You can feel it believe me!
     It’s wonderful! Everything’ll be right.
     It’s wonderful! I'm gonna take you with me…

Every awareness
   Seems to bring us together,
   Storm in the weather.
Being enlightened
   Is like choosing the road
   In which you wish to go,
   Planting a seedling and watching it grow.

     It’s wonderful! You can feel it believe me.
     It’s wonderful! Everything’ll be right.
     It’s wonderful, I think I'm goin', goin',
     Goin', goin', goin', goin', goin'...


People keep happy,
   You'll be happier yet
   For there's help you forget.
When you are happy
   Every place feels like home
   ‘Cause you're never alone.
   There's much to be said but it's all in your head!

     It’s wonderful! Ain't it groovy?
     It’s wonderful!
     It’s wonderful! You can feel it believe me!
     It’s wonderful! Everything’ll be right.
     I'm want to take you with me.
     It’s wonderful! Bye, bye.


The Rascals aren’t often considered as a psychedelic group, though they did release one psychedelic album Once Upon a Dream in February 1968 which reached #9 in the U.S. No song from that album is represented in the Psychedelic Masterworks except this single which was released around Christmas of 1967. (By the way, It’s Wonderful was the last time the group was referred to as the Young Rascals.) Before this and after this the Rascals were best known as a blue-eyed soul group. Their song Groovin’ had added an R&B dimension welcomed by many hippies in the Summer of 1967. It’s Wonderful wasn’t much of a success for the Rascals, who had racked up four top ten hits up to this point. However, it didn’t end their career. They would enjoy two more hits in the top ten in 1968, and their third number one, People Got to be Free. But these 1968 hits returned the group to blue eyed soul. Actually, It’s Wonderful has much the same message as People Got to be Free, preaching peace and love, but they made their proselytizing more convincing in their #1 hit, using a melody that drew from the gospel tradition.

It’s Wonderful encourages its audience to feel good, to be happy, to be enlightened. (This is the only song included in this study that includes the words enlightened or enlightenment in its lyric.) It’s a song of positive thinking (It’s all in your head) and expresses an optimism built from a sense of universal brotherhood, rather than music or drugs. In fact, the weird sound effects and distortions of the word wonderful suggest that enlightenment itself is a “trip”, an alternate reality. By the time People Got to be Free was released, this feeling of brotherhood was more explicitly across racial lines after the assassination of Martin Luther King in April 1968, and the song accentuated camaraderie in struggle rather than pleasure.

I highly recommend editing out the last minute of It’s Wonderful as an album cut, which is full of clowning around and aural distortions as cornball as those in Try It by the Hollies, or worse. Some psychedelic records require a similar editing as the period of hip hop albums when songs were sprinkled with comedy skits. This song is among the worst offenders in this collection, but it’s certainly not the only one. Among the edits I recommend are Gomper and Sing This All Together by the Rolling Stones, Brown Shoes Don't Make It and Call Any Vegetable by the Mothers of Invention, Broken Arrow by the Buffalo Springfield, and, because a commercial is included in the cut, Our Love Was by the Who. All of these songs are from 1967.