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The Shift

British model Twiggy wearing a pink shift

People in the ’60s had Twiggy, the face that launched a thousand and more shifts. The dress known as the shift was one of the first defining fashions of the ’60s. Its lack of a fitted waist made it flattering for many body types. The shift was popularized by Jackie Kennedy…

Jackie in her shift

 

and Audrey Hepburn.

Actress Audrey Hepburn wearing a shift dress

The shift became a fashion craze when English designer Mary Quant (the miniskirt and hot pants) created her version of it. She called it the “minidress.” But really, she was just giving us the short shift. Quant’s model of choice was Twiggy — a perfect combination of form and fashion.

British model Twiggy in a red shift

The Beach Boys even did a song about it. “The Shift” was written by group members Brian Wilson and Mike Love It was released as the last track on their 1962 debut album Surfin’ Safari.

Surfin' Safari was the debut album of The Beach Boys

Personnel for the album were Mike Love, Al Jardine, David Marks, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson. Producer Nick Venet also helped with vocals and electric guitar.

 

Here are the lyrics to “The Shift” by The Beach Boys:

“Check out the chick with the new dress on
(Wearing a shift and it looks real fine)
They call it a shift and it comes on strong
(Wearing a shift and it looks real fine)
When she’s got it on, well she can’t do no wrong
(Wearing a shift, wearing a shift)
You may think a dress can’t do very much
(Wearing a shift really turns me on)
With the slit up the side, you can’t resist that touch
(Wearing a shift really turns me on)
It’s tighter than a moo-moo and it’s just too much

(Wearing a shift, wearing a shift)
(Turns me on now) (get a shift now)
(Can’t go wrong now) (go wrong now)
(Turns me on now) (get a shift now)
(Turns me on now) (turns me on now)

[Outro]
Get your girl a shift and she’ll look real fine
(Wearing a shift and it’s just too much)
It fits like a glove and drives you out of your mind
(Wearing a shift and it’s just too much)
She’ll ball it with her shift on and we’ll have a good time
(Wearing a shift, wearing a shift)
(Turns me on now) (get a shift now) [repeat until fade]”

 

Check Out The Groove Pad for Free 1960s Music

The Pass the Paisley Groove Pad is a resting stop, a place to chill out and listen to the featured song on the stereo. If the mood strikes you, click on the juke box to access and listen to the 50+ free online songs there. The TV has several channels, with selections updated twice a week. Every now and then, Pass the Paisley hosts an all-request of 1960s and 1970s songs for a Be-In at the juke box in the Groove Pad. Keep on truckin’.

 

Rick Balian
Rick Balian
Rick Balian is an award-winning playwright who grew up on the wrong side of the ’60s (the ’70s). He still marvels at the diversity, inventiveness, and energy of music from then and wonders if it will ever be matched. He’s randomly optimistic that it will.

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