Monday, February 26, 2024

Was She Reality or Just a Tune Stuck in My Head?


Ear Worms can drive you nuts, but fortunately most are songs you liked, except that damned song from the Jardiance commercial that everyone hates. While I am suffering through the repeated playing of my current song, the worst part is that absolutely no one is hearing the same tune or wants to. This is where my blog comes. I can share my current aural infection and find some relief.

The song in question is co-written by Artie Kornfeld and Steve Duboff in 1966. Since I was all of seven years old. It wasn’t one had a specific memory tied to it, at least not then. It is a song from the Happy Together period. During that time, bands like the Association, the Vouges, The Cowsills, Jay and the Americans and the Turtles were getting a lot of airplay. These bands became known for their catchy tunes, unique harmonies, and accessible lyrics about romance and love. 

Just minutes before this record was going to be pressed, there was a bit of drama. Someone thought the original title was a little too close to a song released by Scott McKenzie, even though the original title only contained one word that was the same. So, Kornfield changed the title from The Flower Girl to The Rain, the Park, and Other Things. Given my penchant for titles that only vaguely associate with the written word below it, it was a natural match between me and the song, but there is more. McKenzie’s hit song was San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair).

If you listen to the lyrics, they are about a man who sees a girl sitting in the rain and says hello. They take a walk together until the rain stops and the sun comes out. Then she disappears. Throughout the song, he knows she’ll make him happy, that he is happy with her, and even though she left, she has made him happy. But in the last verse, he reveals the whole thing may have just played out in his mind -- “Was she reality, or just a dream to me?” 

I think part of what makes me a storyteller and writer is that I can sit on a bench, see the girl, and imagine a similar storyline. It doesn’t have to happen for the love and happiness to feel real. It is a matter of capturing the moment and the feeling of euphoria that matters.

Aside from the lyrics, the song has some beautiful harmonies which are distinctive of The Cowsill’s sound. The specific recording stuck in my head is a live recording made in 2004. It has less production than the original, and more the feel of something that was performed just for the listener. Someone posted the video on social media and I happened across it. I share that version here, with the warning that if you listen to it, you may end up with this wonderful Ear Worm as well.


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