Liberal Arts Blog — Mamas and the Papas — California Dreamin’ (1965), Monday, Monday (1966)

John Muresianu
4 min readSep 23, 2022

Liberal Arts Blog — Thursday is the Joy of Music Day

Today’s Post: Mamas and the Papas — California Dreamin’ (1965), Monday, Monday (1966)

The group just stayed together for three years (1965–1968) and had only one Billboard #1 hit (“Monday, Monday”), but is still considered “a defining force in the music of the counterculture of the 1960s.” John Philips (singer, songwriter, and guitarist) was the leader, while Cass Eliot was the most memorable performer. She would have a successful solo career after the break-up until her death of heart failure at age 32. Today, the lyrics of their two greatest songs, a few Youtube links, as well as a few biographical notes. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN — written on a cold winter day in New York City

1. “All the leaves are brown (all the leaves are brown) // And the sky is gray (and the sky is gray) // I’ve been for a walk (I’ve been for a walk) // On a winter’s day (on a winter’s day) // I’d be safe and warm (I’d be safe and warm) // If I was in L.A. (if I was in L.A.) // California dreamin’ (California dreamin’) // On such a winter’s day

2. Stopped into a church I passed along the way // Well, I got down on my knees (got down on my knees) // And I pretend to pray (I pretend to pray) You know the preacher like the cold (preacher like the cold) // He knows I’m gonna stay (knows I’m gonna stay)

3. California dreamin’ (California dreamin’) // On such a winter’s day

MONDAY, MONDAY — their only Billboard #1 hit

1. Bah-da, bah-da-da-da. Bah-da, bah-da-da-da, bah-da, bah-da-d-da Monday, Monday, // so good to me, // Monday mornin’ // it was all I hoped it would be // Oh Monday morning, // Monday mornin couldn’t guarantee // that Monday evenin you would still be here with me.

2. Monday, Monday, // can’t trust that day, // Monday, Monday, // sometimes it just turns out that way, // Oh Monday mornin // you have me no warnin of what was to be // Oh Monday, Monday, // how could you leave and not take me

3. Every other day, // every other day, // Every other day of the week is fine, yeah // But whenever Monday comes,// but whenever Monday comes // A you can find me cryin all of the time.”

MAMA CASS (1941–1974) AND JOHN PHILIPS (1935–2001)

1. Of Russian Jewish ancestry, Mama Cass was born Ellen Naomi Cohen. She dropped out of high school to pursue an acting career in NYC. After the break-up of the Mamas and the Papas she released five solo albums. She was married and divorced twice. In 1967 she gave birth to a daughter by an unidentified father. In 1974, she died of heart failure age 32.

2. Sometimes doing a little research can be rather depressing. Having loved the group as a teenager, I was disappointed to learn of the sordid personal history of the quartet’s leader, John Philips who, eight years after his death, was accused of rape by his own daughter.

The Mamas & The Papas — California Dreamin’

The Mamas & The Papas — Monday Monday

California Dreamin’ — Wikipedia

Monday, Monday — Wikipedia

Denny Doherty — Wikipedia


PDF with headlines — Google Drive


#1 A graphic guide to justice (9 metaphors on one page).

#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20


Time to share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to music. Or the coolest thing you learned in your life related to music. Say your favorite song or songs. Or your favorite tips for breathing, posture, or relaxation. Or some insight into the history of music….Or just something random about music… like a joke about drummers. jazz, rock….or share an episode or chapter in your musical autobiography.

This is your chance to make some one else’s day. And perhaps to cement in your memory something important you would otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than you otherwise would about something that matters to you.



John Muresianu

Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.