Shiny Boots, Nancy Sinatra and “Sugar Town”

Well, I’ve wanted to feature this song in the blog for a while, and today seems to be the day for a variety of reasons – Yes it’s a shoo-shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo, shoo-in (all will become clear).

Last month, as we had moved into 2017, I decided to look back at the first chart listing from 50 years ago which seems to have become, in the course of writing this blog, my favourite year to revisit. Back then the song that jumped out at me was Sitting In The Park by Georgie Fame, so I decided to write about it. Looking at the same 1967 chart a month on, the song that jumped out at me this time was indeed Sugar Town by Nancy Sinatra. I have written about Nancy before as she still tops my personally ranked list of “Favourite Ever Bond Themes”, with You Only Live Twice but I wasn’t really familiar with Sugar Town until recently. As sometimes happens with the music of 1967, I am smitten.


The second reason for today’s pick is that I have been curious of late as to how my blogging buddies got started so I’ve gone back to have a look at their very first posts, some from quite a few years ago. Lo and behold, over at Charity Chic Music, one of CC’s first picks in 2012 was Sugar Town by Nancy Sinatra whilst C (no relation) at Sun-Dried Sparrows also wrote about Nancy in her second ever post (as an accompaniment to showcasing a very shiny new pair of boots!). A lot of synchronicity going on at the moment in our little corner of the blogosphere, first with posts about songs from the world of psychedelic rock and now it seems with Nancy Sinatra!

Sugar Town by Nancy Sinatra:

Of course most people will remember Nancy for her 1966 hit record These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ and although I could only have been about five at the time, one of my very first memories is of watching Nancy and her troop of “go-go dancers” perform this song on television. It was catchy indeed and was definitely one of the songs even my mum and dad could be caught singing along to whilst doing the housework or a bit of DIY.

You rarely saw Nancy without her boots and they kind of became her signature item of clothing. Like Kylie, she was very petite and doll-like, but with the help of Lee Hazelwood did well to carve out a successful career for herself despite being the daughter of the icon that was Frank. As for me, all through Junior School I coveted those white shiny boots but of course I never did get a pair – It was always a pair of sensible, fur-lined (it was Scotland after all), leather boots carefully fitted by those expert foot-measurers at the Clarks or Start-rite shop.

As I mentioned above, there have been quite a few posts regarding the world of psychedelic rock of late and I myself wrote about White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane last week. It was one of the first songs to get past the radio censors with its “Alice In Wonderland-esque” lyrics. Sugar Town also was an LSD song if ever there was one and Lee Hazelwood, the songwriter, freely admitted it. The song was directed at a young audience but was outwardly innocent enough to receive radio play.

So, “What’s It All About?” – I never did get a pair of white shiny boots and somehow I don’t think now that I ever will. I did buy a pair of very bright red ones recently however and people at work, who have never spoken to me before, have stopped to admire them – A great conversation starter and now that I think of it, perhaps how to get ahead in the modern day workplace.

Nancy it seems knew exactly what she was doing!

Sugar Town Lyrics
(Song by Lee Hazelwood)

I got some troubles, but they won’t last
I’m gonna lay right down here in the grass
And pretty soon all my troubles will pass
‘Cause I’m in shoo-shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo-shoo
Shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo Sugar Town

I never had a dog that liked me some
Never had a friend or wanted one
So I just lay back and laugh at the sun
‘Cause I’m in shoo-shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo-shoo
Shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo Sugar Town

Yesterday it rained in Tennessee
I heard it also rained in Tallahassee
But not a drop fell on little old me
‘Cause I was in shoo-shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo-shoo
Shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo Sugar Town

If I had a million dollars or ten
I’d give to ya, world, and then
You’d go away and let me spend
My life in shoo-shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo-shoo
Shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo Sugar Town


Anyone who visited this post earlier today may have noticed that the music clip I first included was not indeed by Nancy Sinatra but one that I found in my library by another artist. It turns out that darling daughter once got a CD from the Lush soap people which included Sugar Town by the Fresh Handmade Collective, a group of singers and musicians put together to create promotional CDs for the company. Quite different lyrics and Southend-on-Sea substituted for Tennessee. Still a sweet version though and well worth a listen.

Sugar Town by the Fresh Handmade Collective: