The Songs We Will Sing.

# 37: Silence is Golden: The Tremeloes: 1967

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The late 1950s and the 60s was a magical time for pop groups in the UK. They just kept on popping up. From Cliff Richard to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Searchers, The Kinks, Donovan, The Yardbirds, The Animals, The Who, The Hollies, The Troggs, The Shadows… and the list goes on, but I think you get the picture. On that list is The Tremeloes, some teenage boys who met at high school, in Essex, and in 1958 formed a pop group. They had their first hit on the UK charts in 1963 with Do You Love Me.

The song I want to discuss today was initially recorded by an American band, the Four Seasons, of Frankie Valli and Jersey Boys fame, and released in 1964 as the B side to their #1 single Rag Doll. But the version I remember best is that of The Tremeloes and I like this song because it actually raises an important point.


I am sure many of us had mothers who told us if we had nothing pleasant to say, well then, just don’t say anything; after all Silence is Golden. The lyrics of this song wrestle with the best way to manage a situation which is causing someone grief because they are in possession of some knowledge which they know will bring pain to someone else, someone they actually care about a lot. The person who is cared about is being lied to, deceived by another person, someone they trust and someone who is supposed to love them. In the end the decision is made to remain silent to; mind their own business and not hurt her because silence is golden and she wouldn’t believe the information anyway. So silence is golden but my eyes still see.

It’s a tricky situation and one that is always current. When is it appropriate to speak and when is it wiser to actually be silent? People are deceived all the time and often are the last to know what is going on behind their backs. Sometimes knowledge is a heavy burden to carry.

So is silence golden? Well, yes. If what is going to come past our lips is insulting, hurtful, gossip, lies and is meant to cause trouble. But on the other hand if what we have to say is intended to be helpful, to safeguard dignity, to uncover lies and deceit, to reveal the truth of a situation, well then, maybe silence is not so golden.

Mark Twain explains this dilemma thus; The truth hurts, but silence kills. In the ultimate sorting out of life, the truth may hurt but it also sets us free.

I hope you like this song, it is an original The Tremeloes – Silence is Golden – YouTube Notice the beautiful harmonies and by the way some of the original members of this band are still performing over 50 years later. Check them out on YouTube and Google.

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