Build Me Up, Buttercup


There’s a new Geico commercial for motorcycle insurance that starts out with the introduction to one of my favorite songs – Build Me Up, Buttercup. Of course, I have to sing along.

Why do you . . . build me up, buttercup baby, just to let me down, and mess me around . . .

This song is my fave for a couple of reasons:

  1. I was in 8th grade when I first heard it on the radio.
  2.  My youngest had a tiny solo on the song while in her 7th or 8th grade chorus concert.
  3. I sang it in the singles’ club Gong show with 7 girlfriends as we performed while dressed head to toe, in yellow.

Since I performed it, I know all the lyrics.

And then worst of all, you never call, baby, when you say you will, but I love you still.

Eight women, lined up from shortest to tallest and then back down the line in height. I am always the tallest so that puts me in the middle.  We had two women in white go-go boots, one on each end. Our dresses didn’t match, but the color yellow tied it together.

I need you, more than anyone, Darling. You know that I have from the start.

We wore deep yellows, pale yellows, short dresses, long dresses, one woman in a yellow jacket and white capri pants, and a variety of scarves in warm colors.

So build me up, buttercup, don’t break my heart.

As we waited backstage to go on, one of the judges walked by and said, “I hate the color yellow.”

“But you’ll love our song,” I said.

I’ll be over at ten, you tell me time and again, but you’re late. I wait around and then. . .

It was our second performance, the year before our debut as the Rusty Sisters (the singles’ club is the Rusty Bindings). 50 years ago, it was a clever name for a ski club. Now it sounds like the members are getting old (I’ve been in it for 12 years).

I run to the door. I can’t take anymore. It’s not you. You let me down again. Hey, hey, hey.

We had several rehearsals with lots of wine, laughter, and female bonding.

Baby, baby, try to find, a little time, and I’ll make you happy,

I’ll be home. I’ll be beside the phone, waiting for you. Ooh –ooh. Ooh–ooh.”

At this point, two of the judges were oohing along with us.

Why do you, build me up, buttercup, just to let me down and mess me around.

Then the last verse.

I was your toy, but you could be the boy I adore if you just let me know . . .

Although you’re untrue, I’m attracted to you all the more. Why do I need you so?

And the chorus . . .

Hey, hey, hey, baby, baby, try to find a little time and I’ll make you happy.

I’ll be home. I’ll be beside the phone, waiting for you.

Ooh -ooh, ooh, ooh.

Key change and big finale!

I – I–I need you, more than anyone darling, you know that I have from the start.

So build me up, Buttercup, don’t break my heart.

You’re singing along, right? How could you not?

We came in 3rd!

Best song ever, at least from 1968.

Thank you, Foundations, you two-hit wonder band.

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