Lyrics & Analysis: I Don't Mind, I Got Mine

I can see by the way you look at me you don’t care
I can know by the way you smile at me love ain’t there
But I don’t mind ‘cause I got mine my friend
Just a sweet little girl, the sweetest in the world
I got mine babe

I got mine babe, baby I got mine
Listen baby, I said I got mine
And don’t I feel so fine

I can see by the way you walk with me you don’t care
The way you talk, the way you walk, love ain’t there
Yeah I don’t mind, I got mine my friend
She’s my girl, I think of her the world
She’s my girl

I got mine babe, Ah, oooh I’m so fine
I’m gonna jump and shout all day
Well-a I got mine

Guitar solo (well, kind of)

(Rambling: Let me tell you baby, I got mine
Yeah, yeah, I got mine baby
Ah baby, baby
Baby listen to me, I got mine
I don’t care about you
What you say what you do
You could be untrue
Because I got mind
No, I don’t mind
Come on, babe,
Come on, I got mine, babe etc.
Hey, hey, hey, hey,
Ah now baby
Baby, baby, I’m so fine
Ha! Baby, who’s laughing now, honey
It’s me, it’s me, it’s me, it’s me babe
I a-laughing, I’m a-laughing at you
And you didn’t know me true
I said, ah my, I got mine)

Jim Pembroke 1966

Artist: The Pems
       Jim Pembroke, vocal 
       Jaakko Kaarala, guitar
       Heikki Kiiskinen, bass
       Raimo Rautarinne, drums
       Pertti Söderström, organ
       The group (probably), clapping
Release: A-side of 7” single RCA Victor FAS954 (early 1966)
Studio/Producer/Engineer: unknown

General comment: This is the A-side of the second single Jim Pembroke appeared on as lead singer. The record features the two first songs he ever wrote to be released. Compared with his later production it is not the most impressive single (in fact, the first one was better). On the other hand, it isn’t all that bad either. The playing – apart from the guitar – is competent, with the organ as the main driving ingredient, and the singing is on par with well-known British bands at the time.

The music: The inclusion of a small electric organ (this one sounds like a Vox Continental) is reminiscent of the Animals some two years earlier, but a bigger influence may well be Van Morrison’s group Them. They also, by 1966, had a sound which was lacking a couple of years behind most other British bands who, if they featured organs, were now getting into the considerably more expensive (and lumbago-inducingly heavier) Hammonds. A simple guitar riff during the verses leads into a stomping beat during the choruses, which also is very typical of the two-stage dynamic approach often used by Them.

Them had a big influence on what we now call US 1960s ‘Garage Rock’ (a term that was invented in the mid-seventies, it seems). In fact, the evident Rolling Stones approach to Rhythm & Blues combined here with the use of a small electric organ makes this single sound quite a lot like many lesser known American groups around the same time, though it is more than doubtful Pembroke would be aware of this particular underground US scene at all. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be far wrong to label the single a true ‘Garage Rocker’, and only the completely non-happening guitar solo in the middle lets it down. Pembroke’s singing style also borrows a lot from both Jagger and Morrison, and some of the improvised phrasing brings to mind Paul Jones of Manfred Mann. However, the sound of Pembroke’s voice is, as always, more in the vein of Bob Dylan, albeit in tune all the time and not deliberately blurring his phrasing (yet).

The most original and interesting feature here may well be the way Pembroke raises the melody line from first to second verse, virtually singing what could have been a higher harmony to the melody he sings in verse one. He would use this particular dynamic effect a lot later on.

The song is built around two three-chord riffs, A-G-E in the verses, and A-D-E in the choruses. In between there is a small two-chord bridge, shifting between A and G. Pembroke was already straying away somewhat from the 12-bar blues format, but that was quite common for the style of music which in Britain at that time was labelled R&B (the Scandinavian term was ‘Beat Music’, one of these English words that doesn’t seem to exist in real English). He was using a guitar for composing at this stage, which seems obvious from the choice of key (A Major) as well as the entire structuring of the song.

The lyric: This is a far spell from the Jim Pembroke we know from later on in Wigwam and various solo projects. Though ‘love gone wrong’ is a much recurring theme his male narrators are generally quite resigned, leaving initiatives and decisions to their female partner (some experience with Scandinavian women in the meantime may have had a bit of influence here). This early lyric, however, is held in the typical black R&B style where the male narrator does his best to conceal his wounded pride. Unsurprisingly, the harder he tries the less convincing he becomes. He’s so happy that his girl has left him that he has to tell her all the time, and so on.

The lyric for a song of this kind doesn’t need to be great poetry, but it must be musical. In that sense it works fine. Still, lines such as ‘I can know by the way’ and ‘I think of her the world’ are just a tad too naff and quite surprising coming from a native speaker of English. Luckily Jim Pembroke would, later on in his career, aim considerably higher in his writing.

-- Claes Johansen, 2007