Dean Friedman, Denise Marsa and “Lucky Stars”

Today I want to revisit the song Lucky Stars by Dean Friedman. Now this was a song that was very much a two-hander with Denise Marsa but for some reason she didn’t get credited on the record. Time to right that wrong – Lucky Stars by Dean Friedman and Denise Marsa.

Lucky Stars by Dean Friedman and Denise Marsa:

This does seem to be the kind of song you either love or hate but for me I have always loved it and it turned out that my husband, whom I met 12 years after it was released, also loved it so another reason why we seem to have rubbed along quite nicely all these years. A great little party piece if you are up for the challenge of remembering the lyrics and not afraid to “perform” in front of friends and family.

Again it is a story-song from the late ’70s but unlike with The Pina Colada Song which I wrote about last time, the lyrics here make total sense – A couple having a bit of a late night bicker about a meeting with an ex-girlfriend. Yes a bit of jealousy going on and a bit of defensive anger but thankfully all forgiven by the time they go to sleep.

I was a little cruel about Rupert Holmes last time saying that he looked somewhat uncool performing his song in 1979 and looking at these two now in the video clip, they do also look somewhat uncool but no, I was there, and let me assure you that in 1978 this was the look of choice. All through the ’70s girls had sported either long flowing locks with a centre parting or the layered look that, if your hair was long, required a high level of maintenance and the use of curling tongs. In 1978 however, the shaggy perm became fashionable for both girls and boys which was great – You just washed your hair and let it dry naturally, sometimes adding little flowers as decoration (if you were a girl).


Some songs always remind you of a certain time in your life, and for me, this song is from the time I left home to go to University (not called Uni in those days). After years of living in a family home with all the comfort that affords, you now find yourself in a small room with a bed, a desk, a wardrobe and a little wash-hand basin. I did however have a radio and a cassette recorder, so music was always being played. In the autumn of 1978 this song was being given blanket airplay so my memories of that time – of making new friends, of finding my way around a new city and best of all, being independent – are kind of tied in with it. Bizarre how the memory works but I can still remember being in a clothes shop changing room with it playing on their sound system. I had settled into my new student room and was now trying to build up a new student wardrobe – I already had the shaggy perm, I had acquired a vintage fur coat (sorry, but different times) and now needed some bits and pieces to complete the look. Happy days….


Going to listen to it one more time before I sign off, and enjoy that wonderful bit of saxophone playing. For some reason, although both singers were Americans from New Jersey, it was only a hit in the UK and not in the US. Thank you therefore Dean and Denise (has a nice ring to it) for those happy memories.

Lucky Stars
(Song by Dean Friedman)

What are you crazy? How in the hell can you say what you just said?
I was talking to myself. Shut the door and come to bed.
By the way, I forgot to say, your endearing mother called today.
Did you see Lisa?
Yes I saw Lisa.
Is that why you’re angry?
I wasn’t angry.
Maybe a little.
Not even maybe.
Must be the weather.
Now don’t be a baby.
We’ll how am I supposed to feel with all the things you don’t reveal and
You can thank your lucky stars that we’re not as smart as we’d like to think we are.

Would you like to talk about it?
There’s not much to say.
We had lunch this afternoon. Her life’s in disarray.
She still goes around as if she is always stumbling off a cliff.
Do you still want her?
What are you saying?
Do you still want her?
Baby stop playing.
Really, I mean it. Can you forget her?
Baby, now stop it. You should know better.
I know this is hard to do. but, there’s no one for me but you and
You can thank your lucky stars that we’re not as smart as we’d like to think we are.

Baby, I’m sorry, I was wrong, I have no alibis.
I was acting like a fool and I apologize.
Listen, hon’, I know you’re dumb, but that’s ok, you don’t have to look so glum.
Do you still love me?
Yes, I still love you.
You mean, you’re not just being nice.
No, I’m not just being nice.
Do you feel sleepy.
Aw, you’re so sincere. Yes, I feel sleepy.
Well, slide over here ’cause I may not be all that bright, but I know how to hold you tight and
You can thank your lucky stars that we’re not as smart as we’d like to think we are and

You can thank your lucky stars that we’re not as smart as we’d like to think we are and
We can thank our lucky stars that we’re not as smart as we’d like to think we are.

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days. I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 57 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team, Bacharach and David. The opening line to that song was, "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

8 thoughts on “Dean Friedman, Denise Marsa and “Lucky Stars””

  1. After several weeks of “What the heck is that lyric from?” I finally Googled ‘you can thank your lucky stars that we’re not as smart as we like to think we are’. Dean Friedman! How could I forget that?! Then I found a link to your blog, so that’s my holiday reading sorted :o) Many thanks for all the info on D and D’s song.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – Glad you found it in the end as these “earworms” can drive us batty!

      I tend to write about songs from that era and often ones like this that people forget the details about. Very exciting for me however was that the female singer on the duet found this post and I ended up having a conversation with her over at her blog – Didn’t expect that to happen all those years ago (40?!) when I first became a bit of a fan of the song. Heck back then Denise Marsa wasn’t even credited on the record so we didn’t know her name, but with all this info now available at our fingertips, that has now been put right. Hope you enjoy some of my other posts and thanks for dropping by.


  2. I’m 60 years old and I live in a Midwestern city in the USA. I first learned of Dean Friedman this year when Spotify included “Ariel” in a playlist based on some other song I searched. Ariel is a very catchy tune, IMO, and I thought it must be from a musical play. So I researched it a bit (no musical, of course) and was pretty surprised to see that it charted in the US in 1977 when I was 16 years old. In 1977 I was at the peak of my musical awareness (music was defining my emerging personal identity), and this song was so distinctive musically. Plus I’m Jewish (one of the lyrics is “She was a Jewish girl…”), plus I have cousins who are Friedmans, so I was mystified how “Ariel” escaped my attention. I can only guess that it received near 0 air time on the radio here. I also learned that Dean’s music was more popular outside the U.S.

    Dean has one other song on Spotify with over 1,000,000 listens: Lucky Stars. I found your blog while (whilst?) searching for those lyrics. You seem to be a very diligent blogger and I look forward to more musical discoveries as I comb through your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to have you drop by Harris – Yes, Lucky Stars is a much loved song here in Britain as it did really well in the UK Singles Chart in 1978. He appears on TV here sometimes in those shows where they revisit popular music from earlier decades. It was one of the first songs I wrote about when I started this blog as it holds really good memories for me. Ariel on the other hand wasn’t a hit here, only in America, but a minor one so I don’t think the 16-year-old you, would have come across it. Very Broadwayesque as is Lucky Stars, but not from a show, just Dean’s style.

      A really exciting thing to happen after writing my post was that Denise Marsa, the Mystery Girl in the duet, got in touch, and there has been some communication since. I can honestly say that back in 1978, when I was a teenager just leaving home for the first time and listening to this song all the time, that I would never, ever have expected that to happen. Life has some strange twists and turns.

      I certainly have been a diligent blogger over the years, perhaps too diligent, but I have enjoyed it all and enjoyed having people drop by with comments. Welcome aboard!


    2. I live in New Zealand and clearly remember Ariel from the American Top 40, which I listened to pretty much every weekend. So it must have been being played in the US somewhere. I’m mystified how it escaped your attention too! Love that song (and Lucky Stars). I can also confirm the shaggy perm look made its way to New Zealand too 🙂


      1. Hi Tricia – thanks for dropping by. Yes it was Lucky Stars that was the really big hit here in the UK so I’m not as familiar with Ariel at all but it does seem to have been popular in many parts of the world. Still love listening to Lucky Stars and reminiscing how I had all those shaggy curls in my hair – changed days!


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