Tommy James' first hit was raw garage rock urging his baby to do the "Hanky Panky," accentuated by wavering raunchy guitar notes at the end of the choruses. Hit songwriting team Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich wrote it in 20 minutes for a 1963 B side by their studio group the Raindrops; James first heard it via a live version by a club band in South Bend, Indiana. "I really only remembered a few lines from the song, so when we went in to record it, I had to make up the rest," he confessed.
Jason Mraz re-emerged after his disappointing second album with this lead single, a Jack Johnson-esque ditty about giving yourself fully to someone else. The success of the reggae-tinged song (it earned two Grammy nods and a spot on the Billboard singles chart for well over a year) was something the folk-pop singer never predicted when he wrote it in 15 minutes at home. "I played a happy-hippie chord progression that would probably work without 50 different Bob Marley songs," he told Rolling Stone. "I thought, 'It's too novelty. This is a nursery rhyme,'" concluding that "you can never guess what's gonna be a hit."