If you are a Dramatics fan, like me, then surely you have found yourself constantly playing those Dramatics songs and singing along. But do you really know the meaning of those songs? If not, you might want to read this page.
Songs rated on a scale of 1-10
1- Horrible! I can't stand to even hear this song!
2-It's so boring, it puts me to sleep.
3-Poorly written and sloppy.
4-Could use some improvement.
6-I guess it isn't bad, but I've never paid much attention to this song.
7-I kinda-sorta like it.
9-I love this song so much! Can't get enough of it.
10-Brilliant beyond brilliant. Can't get any better.
Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get
"Some people are made of plastic. And you know some people are made of wood. Some people have hearts of stone. Some people are up to no good. But baby, I'm for real, I'm as real as real can get. If what you're looking for is real loving, then what you see is what you get." In this song, the Dramatics each say that some people are fake, then Wee Gee Howard says that he is for real, and that the love he is giving his girl is the real thing. The Dramatics had their very first hit with this song. It's latin-flavor, multi lead vocals, and Ron's tongue rolling add the final touch. The live version of this song, led by L.J., is just as brilliant.
In the Rain
The Dramatic who is leading this song (Wee Gee) feels like crying and he wants to go outside in the rain because he doesn't want his girl to see him cry. The rain will wash away his teardrops, and his girl will never know that he has been crying. This song is simply beautiful, with its amazing strings arrangement and rain and thunder effects. Once again, Wee Gee's soulful second tenor-baritone carries the song, while Willie Ford's bass provides the foundation. No wonder it sold over two million copies for the Dramatics!
Fall In Love, Lady Love
Could you hear me if I called your name out loud? Could you see me, with your head stuck in a cloud? How can you see that I'm in love with you, if you just walk on by? Head up high! Hung up on yourself! Oh! FALL IN LOVE, LADY LOVE, be my lady, please Lady Love." Obviously, the Dramatics are saying, "I'm in love with this girl, but she won't give me the time of the day." This is a jammin' ballad with classy harmonies and so sentimentally beautiful, that how can anyone leave if off their "Greatest Love Songs" list?
Rating: 9 1/2
The Devil Is Dope
The songs starts off with the sound of a crackling, burning flame, Willie saying, "Hey, I smell fire!" then the other guys echoing "Fire! Fire!" and "It's getting hot!" Then Ron does a sarcastic laugh, and Willie an even scarier one. Finally, Wee Gee sings "Satan is his name, from hell he came, some call him Lucifer. But he hides his horns in many different forms, but stays Lucifer. THE DEVIL IS DOPE, out of control. THE DEVIL IS DOPE, out to get your soul." All of the Dramatics lead this one. It's basically a sermon, and serves a double purpose: It warns listeners about drugs and about Devil worship. The funk-inspired music, screams, and scary laughter make it an ideal Halloween song. Brothers and sisters, you better beware!
Fell For You
"Like a star...slipping out of place, sliding from the sky, tumbling through space. When you touch my hand, I swear I feel like I'm falling, falling, falling. Falling, falling, falling. Like a wheel whirling round and round, rolling down the hill, spinning on the ground. Your kisses make my dizzy in the head....and I'm falling, falling, falling. Falling, falling, falling. Uh-oh girl, I think that I have FELL FOR YOU." Another beautiful song. On this one, Ron, singing in his natural tenor, tells the girl that he loves he has fell for her, using lots of descriptive metaphors. This is the first Dramatics song that L.J. Reynolds and Lenny Mayes sing on.
You Could Become the Very Heart Of Me
"Haven't I seen your face before? Hey girly girl whoevah you are. Maybe in a dream, or on a motion picture screen? Cause girl you are sho'nuff a star. Something you've got brings out the man in me. And if-ah you stick around, girl, YOU COULD BECOME THE VERY HEART OF ME, the stop and go, the start of me." L.J. is falling for a complete DRAMATIC DIVA, a girl that is so beautiful and has star potential. A completely playful, catchy midtempo. L.J. and Lenny share the lead, and Willie does a little "burp-growl" at the end. This song is undoubtedly on my favorites list. It's as if the guys are actually singing to me!
Now You Got Me Loving You
Another masterpiece with Ron singing in his natural tenor. "You interrupted my life, little girl. Came into my heart, came into my world. Now you're telling me you gotta go. It would have been alright about 1,000 kisses ago." He sings about this girl that got him to love her, and now she is going to leave him, but it is impossible for him to let her go now that he has fallen for her. The guitar solo at the end with the Drams singing "That's all it took, baby....a little bit of your love and 1,000 kisses" wraps up the song. One of the most sensual songs the Dramatics ever recorded. A song that doesn't have to be sensual by containing sexy lyrics, it is sensual just by the musical arrangement and the singing alone!
Rating: 8 1/2
Toast To the Fool
L.J., Ron, and Lenny share the lead on this one. L.J. sings that the girl he loves was true to her old boyfriend, but he jived, connived, and cheated on her. But that disadvantage is somehow an advantage, because now the girl has L.J...and he wants to toast to that fool for letting the girl go. Had he not shown his true colors, the girl would still be with him. "Let's give a toast, give a toast, give a toast, give a TOAST TO THE FOOL (to the foo-oo-ool) who let you go, who let you go, he can't hurt you no more. No, no. Three cheers to the fool who let you go, who let you go, he can't hurt you no more." The flute intro is simply beautiful, and Ron's soaring falsetto gives the song a light, airy touch. Classic Dramatics at their best.
I Made Myself Lonely
L.J.'s woman's best friend lived in their neighborhood, and L.J. says that he would have eventually met her, because they were neighbors. One day, while L.J.'s woman is not home, the neighborhood friend comes to visit, and tries to put the move on L.J. He sings that he "held back until he couldn't hold back anymore." Then, when his woman walks through the front door, she catches them in the act. She packs her things and leaves, and L.J. shows no remorse, thinking "I have the other girl." but the neighborhood girl comes back a few days later and tells L.J. that she can't see him anymore, because her man is back. "Look what I've done to you and me, I put two lives in misery. I MADE MYSELF LONELY." A classic love song with that Dramatic touch. (Thank you BAD *A* DRAMA for your interpretation of the meaning of this song on the Dramatics bulletin board.)
Love Is Missing From Our Lives
This is one of the two songs on the "Dramatics vs. Dells" albums where the Drams and the Dells share a lead. The lyrics are simply beautiful. ("But you can't see the forest, if you're looking at the trees") The theme of the song is pretty basic, a couple who are still together, but there is something missing in their relationship, and that's TRUE LOVE.
Don't Make Me No Promises
"DON'T MAKE ME NO PROMISES. Don't make me no deals. Don't tell me no little white lies. Just be for real. You say you're gonna do right by me, and stop your messing around. You build my hopes up to the sky and then you let me down. If you don't love me baby then spare me the pain...of wanting you, not having you, and hanging on in vain. Love is love, there are no in betweens. You've got to mean what you say, you've got to sayt what you mean." In this Ron-lead song, Ron's lady promises him the world and leads him on until he trusts her, only to break her promise time after time. A fast-paced dance song with some outstanding lyrics (Love is love, there are no in betweens) and smooth singing, which evenly balance this upbeat song.
Door To Your Heart
"In the corridor, on the wall. Underneath the staircase, in the hall. On a hook, behind the door. In the closet, on the floor." Is there a place for L.J. in his lady's heart? Well, there better be, because he's been waiting for that DOOR TO HER HEART to swing open so that he can come on in! The strings,horns, and violins in this song cannot be bettered.
"But now when we kiss...those bells of love no longer ring. And outside my window, baby...even the birds refuse to sing. Oh yeah...we've got to have a TUNE UP, shift those love gears back into motion. We've got to have a TUNE UP, ooh baby, regulate those mixed-up emotions." This beautiful ballad starts off with Ron singing the opening verse, but with L.J. and Lenny splitting the lead. Each of them sing that when he and his lady first fell in love, everything about the love they shared was beautiful, but now they just don't get that same feeling, so it's time for a tune up. This is one song in which the leads are switched from one guy to another so subtly, it's as if the same Dramatic is singing lead. Another one of my all-time favorites.
(I'm Going By) The Stars In Your Eyes
So, what's your sign? "Sagittarius, Virgo? Maybe Scorpio? I wouldn't care if you were Aquarius, cause I'm still in love with you. As sure as you were born, you could be...Gemini. Or even if you were a Capricorn, I could never let you go. Cause I ain't goin' by the stars in the sky. I'M GOING BY THE STARS IN YOUR EYES. And I love you." In the seventies, a popular pick up line was "What's your sign?" But Lenny and L.J. tell the love of their life that they don't care what sign she is. It's the stars that are in her eyes that count. If this song isn't a classic Dramatics love song, then what is? Lenny's breathy lead kicks the song off, then L.J.'s powerful second tenor-baritone takes it away. (By the way, has anyone except me noticed that every sign in the zodiac is mentioned EXCEPT for Aries and Libra?)
Me and Mrs. Jones
"ME AND MRS. JONES...we've got a thing going on. Now we both know that it's wrong, but it's much too strong to let it go now," sings Willie in his heavy bass. The meaning of the song is pretty simple: Guy falls for married woman, they both know their relationship is wrong, but they are much too in love. "We meet every day, at the same cafe, six thirty, and no one knows we'll be there." This smooth and mellow jam was a hit for the Dramatics as well as Billy Paul. In fact, the Dramatics' hit, with its ultra-smooth multi-lead, may have been just as big a hit as Billy Paul's! And why shouldn't it be? Willie's basso profundo opens the song, then he subtly passes the lead to Lenny, and the other guys pick up the lead from there. A perfect example of the Dramatic Multi-Lead System at its best!
I Cried All the Way Home
"So many miles I traveled, just to see your loving face. To kiss your lips and once again, feel your warm embrace. I thought that you (thought that you) would welcome me (welcome me) with your loving arms open wide. But you were cold and as distant as an unreachable star in the sky." Lenny, Ron, and L.J. once again share the lead on this soulful number. The song is about a guy who goes to visit his girl, who lives far away and whom he misses. The guy is so excited to see her, but when he arrives at his destination, the girl rejects him and treats him formally. I love the musical arrangement and the vocal structure of this song. It's Lenny's favorite song. Can you blame him?
Me, Myself, and I
"I don't have no one, but ME, MYSELF, AND I. Listen! Loneliness, don't bother me. I have plenty of....company. I'm surrounded by love and affection. And I'm the center of the attraction. So WHY, all these tears in my eyes! Proud men should never cry! I hide myself behind a lie....all my smiles are just pretend...cause my one and only friends are...ME, MYSELF, AND I!" Apparently, L.J. is lonely and the only person to entertain him is...himself! When he's around others, he hides behind a smile,but when alone, he throws away his masquerade and all his poor tears go on parade. When the Drams sang this song on soul train, L.J. appeared so happy singing this song, and the other Dramatics did some cute choreography. "Me, Myself, And, I" has a good rhythm, a single lead, and an addictive melody that will keep this song on "repeat" on anyone's CD player!
You're Fooling You
"Tell me who's fooling who? You ain't fooling me (naw you ain't!), you're fooling you!" It's 1975, and the Dramatics are doing disco with this charting single. "You're Fooling You" is about a girl who acts needy, loves money, is greedy, crazy, and a fake. She's not fooling the Dramatics---she's fooling herself! Dance floor lovers, watch out for this single. It will get you moving and shaking!
Rating: 7 1/2
She's A Rainmaker
"Oh, she's a rainmaker...and she has no heart at all. A real-life, genuine, heart breaker. First there was sunshine, then came the storm. She gave me love at first, so tender and warm. Now here comes the rain (here comes the rain) pouring all around, falling from my eyes, splashing on the ground." One of the most beautiful songs in the Dramatics' repertoire, right up there with "Toast To the Fool". Ron's high falsetto gives it a soft touch, and L.J.'s raspy voice gives it power. Willie's bass can be heard on one line, Squirrel's smooth baritone on anotherThe instrumental arrangement is gorgeous. Flutes and violins are heard in the background as the Dramatics tell the story of a cold, heartless girl who makes them cry enough tears to start a storm. They perfectly use the analogy of rain to describe their teardrops. The lyrics in this song are more beautiful than any 16th century poem could ever be.
Rating: 8 1/2
I Was the Life of the Party
"Tonight is the night when I'll see her again. And she'll be with...another man. Will I be strong? Will I go on when I see them holding hands? It's just a party, I keep telling myself. And so, if she's with someone else. I'll put on my best smile, and clown for awhile, and no one will know the sadness in my heart. I WAS THE LIFE OF THE PARTY (tried to have some fun), I laughed loud and hearty (I was the lonely one), I told all my best jokes." The lyrics of "I Was the Life Of the Party" strongly suggest that he was anything but. Ron sings that he put on his best smile and tried to pretend that everything was alright, but inside, he was crying. "I laughed so hard I almost cried." An excellent example of a "pity-party" song.
Just Shopping, Not Buying Anything
The song starts off with a slow and mellow instrumental, and L.J. saying "Ooh baby" and the Dramatics saying "Just shopping, Not buying anything" a few times. Then, after about one minute and a half, the tempo speeds up, and Ron comes in, singing "I'd like to make you...queen of my castle. Yeah, baby. And give you all the things that your heart desires. But you said you were just shopping, not buying anything. Oh you said you was just shopping, not buying anything." By the third verse, L.J. takes over the lead, singing "Ohhhhhhhh, you're looking so good to me...all I can do is tremble. Still I'm in love with you, even though I can't get your number. But you said you were JUST SHOPPING, NOT BUYING ANYTHING..." In other words, he wants to give the lady he loves anything she wants, but she doesn't want to get serious with him. In fact, she doesn't want a relationship at all. She wants to date different guys. The Drams use the shopping analogy ever so subtly. "Just Shopping" is dangerously well-written and put together. The Drams, the writers, the producers, and the musicians completely outdid themselves on this song and the album it comes from, "Drama 5". Not surprisingly, it makes my top ten Dramatics songs of all time list!
Richest Man Alive
Lenny represents himself in this song as a guy who isn't materialistic and that all he needs to satisfy him is one minute of his lady's love. "I don't need the fancy things money can buy (money can buy), cause money don't always make everything alright...I'm not trying to take too much of your time...cause money and time don't express my mind (don't express my mind) Naw, naw, naw, oh naw! All I need is just one minute of your love...to be the RICHEST MAN ALIVE in this universe." This three-minute catchy uptempo is without a doubt one of the finest uptempo tunes that the Dramatics ever cut. The title is catchy, the lyrics are so realistic, and the singing is effortless. Lenny wraps his breathy vocals around this one without putting too much strain on his voice, giving it a soft touch and letting the music do it's work. The softness of his voice in this song are made for a love ballad, but the music and background vocals add spice to this catchy uptempo. This song has been on my Top Five favorites list since the moment I heard it!
Be My Girl
"You know, girl, sometimes you make me want to scream." That's Willie doing the intro, then Ron comes in and screams. Lenny's soft, breathy voice sings on the first verse, "All is not lost today. Your brown eyes converted me. And let me know, that you're the right girl for me." Larry Demps sings the next line, "You don't need two of the same love I offer you. It would be a shame to let someone else take my place." A classic seventies love song, the theme being something that any man can relate to: Being in love with a woman and wanting to give her love. The Dramatics evenly split the lead between the five of them on this love ballad. The concert version of this song is just as good, and is usually the closing number in many shows. The concert version starts off slow like the original, then speeds up and becomes a party song.
Rating: 9 1/2
After This Dance
The Dramatics, in their quintessential multi-lead, each sing that after the dance is over, they won't be alone anymore. But the girl that they want to be with really works them hard on the dance floor, and makes them lose a pound. She's a complete dance-floor damsel, a disco dance lover. The song changes tempo more than once, from normal to fast, to normal again. After this song is over, you, like the Drams, will have had an amazing dance floor workout.
Rating: 8 1/2
I Can't Get Over You
"Hello? This is 'J'. L.J., baby. No...please, don't hang up on me. You see, I know you've been going through some changes, but I've been going through some changes myself. I've been walking the floors, can't sleep, been slamming doors darling, I mean it's just a drag, and it's all because I CAN'T GET OVER YOU. I've tried, and tried, but I can't get you off of my mind. This feeling I have for you is strong indeed...with a flame I can't put it out." From the intro of the song, it is pretty obvious as to who leads it. L.J. describes what he is going through trying to get over the one he loves, putting his best effort into the song. He wows listeners with his descriptiveness, not to mention the beautiful background vocals provided by the other four Dramatics.
Sundown Is Coming (Hold Back the Night)
"I don't mean to tell a sad story, but deep down inside, it's killing me. My baby ran away with my best friend, and you oughta know how sad that feeling can be. You might as well take the sun and the moon from the sky because the light of my life, my life, my life was in my baby's hands. As long as the sun shines, I can make it alright...But I just can't make it through the night." L.J. and Willie share the lead on this funky, rock-inspired, fast-paced song. L.J. sings that his life has become dark ever since his baby left him for his best friend. It's gotten to the point where he's afraid of the dark. He can only make it when the sun is up, but when the sun goes down, the pain begins to start. It has that "angry song" feel, but with meaninful lyrics, unlike most of the angsty songs of today. Brilliant piece of work.
Shake It Well
The song opens up with a strong bassline, then Squirrel comes in, singing, "My name is Squirrel, the best shaker in the world. Shake it on down, shake it down to the ground." The Dramatics' message is that dancing is the best remedy to all of your problems. Written in the style of the OJays' "Money, money, money", "Shake It Well" is one of the few leads that Squirrel Demps had with the Dramatics, even though he does have lines on many songs. This six minute uptempo is an ideal workout for anyone, not to mention a great party song.
You Make the Music (I Dance Along)
"A thousand girls or more (yea baby) have left a rhythm at my door. But in time their melodies soon began to bore. Though some got close to me, I never heard a symphony like the one that played when you walked through my door. So won't YOU MAKE THE MUSIC, and I'll just dance along...to the happy song." Lenny leads this classy midtempo, singing about a girl who's attitude and style changed his life, using music metaphorically. Just listen to the lyrics of the song. This one will surely get you hooked!
Spaced Out Over You
Ron does the primary lead on this spacey, floaty number, with flawless background vocals provided by the other group members. "From the moment I first saw you, you took control (you took control) you took my mind, girl...and now you've got my soul (shoobee doobee wah!)...and I'm, oh I'm, oh I'm SPACED OUT OVER YOU and I don't know what to do." The message of the song is just what the title implies: A guy so crazy about a girl that he feels like he's on cloud nine. And they couldn't have picked a better lead! Ron's soaring falsetto is perfect for this one.
That Heaven Kind of Feeling
"I get that HEAVEN KIND OF FEELING when you're near me...it does my soul a world of good to see you smile once in awhile." Out of the three "heaven" songs that the Dramatics recorded ("Highway To Heaven" and "Right In the Middle of Heaven" being the other two), this one is undoubtedly the best. Yet another classic Lenny-led midtempo. The rhythm and vocals are so catchy, they "grab" the listener immediately. I can't get enough of this song, even after owning the album for over two years!
Rating: 9 1/2
(I Like) Making You So Happy
"I LIKE MAKING YOU SO HAPPY. That's all I wanna do. I LIKE MAKING YOU SO HAPPY. 'Cause making you so happy makes me happy, too." Squirrel and Lenny are sharing the lead on this incredible slow jam. Everything about this song is too good to be true. Another simple theme. The guys sing about the girl that they love and how making her happy makes them feel just as good. Some of my favorite lines are "What goes around comes right on back around", "It's like money in the bank, girl...and my interest never shrinks", "I like to buy you pretty presents, I can't do enough for you"...in fact, every word of this song is beyond brilliant! There isn't a single thing about the song that I dislike!
Rating: 10 1/2 (It exceeds the quality of a good song!)
Ocean of Thoughts and Dreams
"When I'm by myself sometimes, a million thoughts run across my mind. And when I try to do without you, all I do is dream about you. And my mind (mind) just drifts (drifts) awayyyyyyy...right into an OCEAN OF THOUGHTS AND DREAMS." Ron wraps his beautiful vocals on this dreamy tranquility song. Ron's mind is always on his lady, and whenever he tries to think about anything else, his mind drifts away. Yes, right into an OCEAN OF THOUGHTS AND DREAMS. The ideal song to take on a trip to the sea.
Rating: 8 1/2