Feb 5, 2009

A little late to the party

On the way to work one day this week, I heard Chicago's Hard to Say I'm Sorry, a song I've loved for years. If you're not sure which song it is, it's one from back when Peter Cetera was the frontman, and -- God bless him -- he wasn't always the best at enunciation. The chorus goes, "After all that we've been through, I will make it up to you, I promise to ...."

So I've always loved the song. However, this week was different from the other 250 times I've heard it in my life. This week, I neglected to change the radio station before the song got to the phrase that has always perplexed me (for a decade I've been changing the channel before it got to that part, just so I wouldn't have to torture myself with it.) It's the very last line, and I think it might have been sort of a throwaway line because it was never noted on any of the "song lyrics" Web sites -- back when I cared enough to look.

I have always HEARD this line -- through my own unique filter -- as "You're Hakeem Alajawan," as in the NBA basketball player from Houston (I think), who was famous around the time the song was released. But THIS WEEK I think I finally heard what Peter was really singing! I think it is actually "You're gonna be the lucky one."

Let's be clear, I never thought that my version of the lyrics was CORRECT, but I just couldn't hear anything else whenever I heard that line. I have the same problem with the Stones' You Can't Always Get What You Want, which to my ears always sounds just like You Can't Always Get a Chihuahua.

I'm pretty sure I'm not cured of the Hakeem Alajawan thing, even now that I believe the true lyrics finally broke through my psyche this week. I think that every time I hear that song, until the day I die, I will always hear it "my way." But I am glad to have discovered the truth, accidentally.

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