the song
title : I wish you were my boyfriend
written by : Eddi Reader and Roy Dodds
song copyright : © 1992 MCA Music Ltd / copyright control

the performance
musicians
Eddi Reader vocal, backing vocals, trumpet vocals
Phil Steriopulos double bass
Roy Dodds drums
with :
Kim Burton accordion, Hammond organ
Dominic Millar guitar
Huw Warren piano
music
key : E major
time-signature : 4/4
tempo : MM 106
form : I V V M V V M m′ N
lyrics

provided for research and private study only (see above for copyright details):

I wish you were my boyfriend   (single version)

– accordian [sic] introduction
oh, oh, oh, no, no

hi-aah
{semi-spoken:} I wish you were my boyfriend
’cos if you were my boyfriend
you would make me happy
a pleasure truer than love
{trumpet vocalise}

oh, I wish you were my boyfriend
but only in for romance {trumpet vocalise}
all our talking would be whispered
not to shout to push and shove

{trumpet vocalise continues under:}
{semi-spoken eight:} and oh here we are
and this is all we get
hello and I don’t really care
now I wish we’d never met


{and trumpet vocalise}
eh-aah

{semi-spoken:} I wish you were my boyfriend {trumpet vocalise}
but not like nearly married
ah, waiting, looking forward
shivering when touching
a present to above

and if you were my boyfriend {ba-da-de-da-da-da-oh}
my pain would be surrendered
I would be like little Judas
only happy to be loved

but oh here we are {trumpet vocalise}
{semi-spoken:} and this is all we get
hello and I don’t really care
now I wish we’d never met
oh

{trumpet vocalise}

– triple time, with fairground organ and vocalise
[fade out and in and out again]

I wish you were my boyfriend   (album version)

– accordian [sic] introduction
oh, oh, oh, no, no

hi-aah
{semi-spoken:} I wish you were my boyfriend
’cos if you were my boyfriend
you would make me happy
a pleasure truer than love {trumpet vocalise}

oh, I wish you were my boyfriend BV ohohohlaal
but only in for romance
all our talking would be whispered {trumpet vocalise}
not to shout to push and shove

{trumpet vocalise continues under:}
{semi-spoken eight:}
and oh here we are
and this is all we get
hello and I don’t really care
now I wish we’d never met


{and trumpet vocalise}
eh-aah

{semi-spoken:} I wish you were my boyfriend
but not like nearly married
ah, waiting, looking forward
shivering when touching
{trumpet vocalise}
a present to above

and if you were my boyfriend {ba-da-de-da-da-da-oh}
my pain would be surrendered
I would be like little Judas
only happy to be
loved {only happy}

but oh here we are {trumpet vocalise}
{semi-spoken:} and this is all we get
hello and I don’t really care {now I wish}
now I wish we’d never met
oh


{trumpet vocalise}

– triple time, with fairground organ
hah-ee-ah

but oh here we are
and this is all we get
hello and I don’t really care
ah, ah-ee-ah
but oh here we are
and this is all we get
hello and I don’t really
care

explanations

the careful listening involved in making the transcription of the lyrics has revealed that, despite the lack of indications on the respective formats, there are two mixes of this track, one appearing on the UK single (What you do with what you’ve got) and the other on the Japanese album (Mirmama released as Eddi Reader). The differences between the two include: the overall sound quality, the backing vocals and the treatment of the ending. I have placed the lyrics side by side above to make it easy to cross-reference the differences. The recording history of the track is not clear, but, given the long gestation of Mirmama, it is possible that the earlier version – whichever one it is – dates from the Shabby Road sessions and the remix from those at Helicon Mountain, which form the major part of the album. One day we might find out.

assuming I’ve heard the words correctly at the appropriate point: in the Bible, Judas was the apostle who betrayed Jesus to the Jewish establishment; hence by analogy, it can refer to anyone who betrays another. In the context of this song Eddi may be referring to the story that Judas felt such remorse at his action that he committed suicide. Or perhaps there is a literary allusion in “little Judas” which I haven’t picked up?


the recording
personnel
produced by : Kevin Moloney, Eddi Reader and Roy Dodds
recorded by : Kevin Moloney, Eddi Reader? and Roy Dodds? at Shabby Road Studio, Kilmarnock?
mixed by : Kevin Moloney? at Shabby Road Studio, Kilmarnock?
remixed by : Terry Medhurst? at Helicon Mountain Studio, London?
mastered by : ? at Townhouse?
technical
track timing : single: 4:45; album: 4:22
song timing : single: 4:38 album m:ss
released on
album : Mirmama [BVCP-176, BVCM-37434] track 14
single : What you do with what you’ve got track 2

commentary
Note how the phrase “just shout and push and shove” relates back to “what’s the use of strength and muscle / if you only push and shove” in the song ‘What you do with what you’ve got’, which is the title track of the single on which this b-side appears.
Adrian Dover