Sweet Darlin – 1967
If You Wanna Be Happy – Stateside 1964
Jimmy Soul, best remembered for If You Wanna Be Happy, a cheerful pop song, also released at least one record that firmly puts him in the soul, northern soul category. Sweet Darlin’ ticks the boxes. It moves along at the right rhythm and just the right amount of backing vocals. It’s got it all.
Jimmy Soul also did a mad record with Bagpipes rattling away in the backing track, It’s best forgotten. As a former preacher born with the name James Louis McCleese, this may have had something to do with it.
Other tracks he did in the early sixties included Treat Em Tough/ Church Street in the Summertime and
Twistin’ Matilda, more of a Caribbean, calypso record with a novelty chorus.
Song Lyrics – If You Wanna Be Happy – Jimmy Soul
If you wanna be happy
For the rest of your life,
Never make a pretty woman your wife,
So from my personal point of view,
Get an ugly girl to marry you.
A pretty woman makes her husband look small
And very often causes his downfall.
As soon as he marries her
Then she starts to do
The things that will break his heart.
But if you make an ugly woman your wife,
You’ll be happy for the rest of your life,
An ugly woman cooks her meals on time,
She’ll always give you peace of mind.
Don’t let your friends say
You have no taste,
Go ahead and marry anyway,
Though her face is ugly,
Her eyes don’t match,
Take it from me she’s a better catch.
Saw your wife the other day.
Yeah, she’s ugly.
Yeah, she’s ugly but she sure can cook.
Born 24th August 1942 – Weldon, North Carolina
Died 25th June 1988 – New York City