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Lyrical Impressions

By Amy McCollom
It’s not my fault, really. My hearing is going bad, I have a wild imagination, and words do not mean the same thing now as they did when I was younger. So when I heard a song on the radio, my brain decoded what I thought I heard, and I just sang along. My husband, who was driving at the time, began to chuckle. This did not sit well with me.

“What?!” I said to him with a scowl on my face.

“You don’t know the words, do you?” he said.

“What? The fella is singing, ‘I’m going almond….’”

John grinned real big and patted me on the leg.

“He’s singing ‘I’m going ALL IN.’ That’s why I was laughing. What does going almond even mean?” he asked.

“Well, that doesn’t make sense at all. Going all in? Like in gambling? Throwing all of his chips in? Jumping in a pool all the way? I could think of a better way to say something like that,” I said.

“Going almond. What does that mean?” John asked again.

“Well…it means something cool, like staying golden, or being on fleek, or lit, or any of those other phrases young people use nowadays. Almonds are healthy, and solid nuts, and more expensive than peanuts, so maybe going almond means being true to yourself, standing solid on your beliefs, only wanting the best for yourself, making healthy choices? That’s what I would guess.”

Unfortunately, John has this phone that he can talk to and it does things on his command. He said, “Hey Google, what are the lyrics to this song….” And immediately the actual lyrics came up in black and white. And no one was going almond, but they were going all in. John was right, I was wrong, so I ended up being the salty nut in the end.

Well, at least when John and I were dating, I knew all the words to “I Want You To Want Me by Cheap Trick.” So, ha!

Song lyrics can be tricky though. For several decades people have confused song lyrics. Back in the 1970’s when I was growing up, just about the only way you could get the lyrics to a song was if you bought the record album, and hopefully the lyrics would be on the inside cover of the album, or sometimes on the paper sleeve protector of the record. What a huge disappointment it was when there weren’t any lyrics inside. What a rip off!

Kids today have no idea of the struggle before the internet. I remember tape recording hours worth of WLS radio programming onto cassettes, and then driving my family crazy with the many times of play and rewind, my ear pressed up against the speaker, pen and paper on my lap. I did not want to look like a fool, and sing the wrong lyrics back then. The years have changed me.

Then rap music came on the scene. Does anybody know what those songs are saying? I do not know how anyone can understand the words that are spoken that fast. That is why I stay away from auctions. My brain runs on a lot slower microprocessor.

My twins listen to some wild sounding music too. I asked them what the lyrics even say? And they admitted that they didn’t know, but they liked the beat of the music. I wonder if youth in general feels the same way? That can be a dangerous thing. Be careful little ears what you hear.

Today with Smart TVs and the internet available on just about any new device you buy, looking up lyrics to a song is just a blink away. Closed caption TV makes any song karaoke suitable. There really is no good reason not to know the lyrics of the songs we listen to anymore. The information is readily available. This reminder is just as much for me as it is for you. Don’t even get me started about the song, “God Is On The Moon.” Stay almond, my friends.

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