I was 17 years old when I first heard this song. My sisters favourite pastime was teasing their big brother during my teenage years. Our father was strict; particularly about the conduct of his daughters and, how they might be viewed in public. He did not want any aspersions reflecting on the family name and his parental role as an upstanding citizen of the community. He essentially disapproved of Mary and Eileen wearing lipstick or any womanly apparel before they had outgrown being girls.
Being a bit of a lad with the young women as a teenager, my next two sisters would resent the seeming freedom that was afforded to me (the firstborn of seven children) where contact with the opposite sex was concerned or the type of clothes I wore. Consequently, when my sisters Mary and Eileen were unable to get me into trouble with my mum because of their resentment of the parental latitude afforded to me, they would seek a laugh at my expense.
One of them would sneak my dirty white shirt out of the wash basket after weekend use and smear the shirt collar with lipstick (applied so thickly, as though some young woman had kissed the life out of me). When my mum did the weekly wash on a Monday, she would see the ‘lipstick on my collar’ and presume that I’d up to tricks again over the weekend. Then, she’d and start singing Connie’s song of the same name as she scrubbed it clean smiling as she did so, with Mary and Eileen foolishly giggling somewhere nearby.
I heard mum sing the ‘B’ side to this record release often, but I never once heard her sing the ‘A’ side, ‘Frankie that I sing today. So, I would consider 'Frankie' to reflect the romantic ‘good boy’ side of my character and 'Lipstick On My Collar' reflecting the 'bad boy' in me.
Love and peace Bill xxx