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Shouldn't Have Quit The Day Job
Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud
Sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear ...

Wait, what?

Hearing this song moments ago, I suddenly realized something: the lyrics are "don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear." That.

Ever since I was a kid, I've thought the word was "if." As in: "Don't worry if it's not good enough". As in, it was possible that my song was good enough. A longshot, perhaps, but there was at least a chance.

Come to discover, after all these years, that my song is not, in fact, good enough for anyone else to hear. It's not good enough now, and it never was.

I feel like I've been punched in the gut. I need to go lie down.

Posted on September 14, 2007 to Observations





Comments

There's no reason you can't "worry that" a conditional may be true. "I worry that the roof will fall in" doesn't mean the roof has fallen or certainly will fall.

Although, to be fair, I haven't heard your singing voice.

Posted by: alkali on September 16, 2007 9:57 AM

Exactly. Don't worry that it's not good enough because, dammit, it *is* good enough! Just good enough. It's the gold standard of mediocrity!

Posted by: filmgoerjuan on September 16, 2007 11:01 AM

Gotta agree with alkali and filmgoerjuan. I think you're too damn sensitive for your own good, in any event.

Posted by: Buck on September 16, 2007 11:09 AM

Compounding the Machiavellian trickery of undermining the very confidence they claim to be bolstering, that lyrical snippet immediately precedes a tricky shift in pitch, further shaking a child's fragile hope to sing, sing a song good enough for anyone else to hear. Those heartless monsters.

But their vicious plot failed. At about five years old, I decided if my song would never be good enough for Them, then poopy on Them.

Posted by: Elsa on September 16, 2007 11:47 AM

alkali and filmgoerjuan FTW.

Posted by: NSMike on September 16, 2007 12:40 PM

I know how you feel. I always thought Oscar the Grouch was orange. Then we got a color tv when I was thirteen. Sigh.

Posted by: Peregrine on September 16, 2007 3:12 PM

Oscar the Grouch was, in fact, orange. They changed it to green after the first season.

Posted by: Jake Boone on September 16, 2007 9:03 PM

Jake, the proper response would be: "I see what you you did there Peregrine". Then again, maybe I'm the one breaking up the act. OR AM I??

Posted by: NE1 on September 16, 2007 10:33 PM

Oh my good gravy, it's not "if"?!!

It's if! It has to be if! It's been if for thirty years! Aaaaargh!

Posted by: Sanya on September 17, 2007 3:09 PM

I agree with the first few posters, who pointed out that it may or may not be true. We worry about stuff that *might* happen, not about certainties, and the use of "that" does not change anything. To say "I worry that something is going to happen" is the same as saying "I worry about something happening" or "I worry about the possibility of something happening." So "Don't worry that it's not good enough" = "Don't worry about it not being good enough."

In fact, I will go as far as saying that "that" instead of "if" here is more positive. "That" says "Don't even worry about whether or not it's good enough for anyone else to hear--these thoughts don't even deserve a place in your head," while "if" still entertains the negativity, i.e., "Well, even if you've discovered that your song does in fact suck, don't worry!"

So, if anything, you should feel even better now. :)

Posted by: Charles on September 17, 2007 6:04 PM

Although early manuscripts of the lyrics originally had "even though your song is" and then that was crossed out and "that" was written in.

Posted by: braine on September 17, 2007 7:24 PM

WHAT?! I've been singing this song all my life! It was my childhood introduction to the Carpenters!

I'm stricken and must also lie down. But not with you or anything, don't worry.

Posted by: Reesepie on September 18, 2007 5:39 AM

'That'? Not 'if'? Are you like 100% sure? Well rock Bossy's world...

Posted by: BOSSY on September 19, 2007 4:03 AM

'That'? Not 'if'? Are you like 100% sure? Well rock Bossy's world...

Posted by: BOSSY on September 19, 2007 4:05 AM

La lalalala, lala lalalala, la la la, lalalalala!

Posted by: Isaac on September 20, 2007 8:04 AM

I've been thinking about this post and I've decided that "that" still leaves hope for the singer. Imagine, if you will, this conversation...

Matthew: "mmm mmm mmm"
Me: "Matthew, why aren't you singing?"
Matthew: "I'm worried that it's not good enough."
(See? "That". Not "if". Stay with me now...)
Me: "What? Don't worry that it's not good enough! Sing! Sing a song!"

There. "If" wouldn't make sense. If the word "if" was used in that line it would imply that there is a possibility that it isn't good enough. "That" implies that the worrying could be without cause.

I'm sure I've made myself ferpectly clear.

Posted by: el on September 24, 2007 9:18 AM

my actual post is where my name should be. i'm posting from a PSP, it's very difficult so i cant go back to fix this :P

Posted by: i think the first few posters and others are taking this post too seriously. The observation was ba on September 24, 2007 11:21 PM

oh, it got cut off! darn! and it was a really good rant, too! oh well, at least i got a unique internet handle i can use now :P

Posted by: i think the first few posters and others are taking this post too seriously. The observation was ba on September 24, 2007 11:28 PM

JB: "Oscar the Grouch was, in fact, orange. They changed it to green after the first season."

Wha? Who made that executive decision?

"Yeh, ummm... the boys down at the lab have uncovered that being orange lends itself to some small degree of happiness. Ergo, unless we want to change his name to 'Oscar the slightly dispondant' we need to get away from this orange thing. Thoughts?"

Sorry. Sidetracked. Sing a song and stuff.

Posted by: Davey on September 25, 2007 5:41 AM