I Heard It Through the Grape Vine

Last night I was at a party/fund raising event/tribute dinner where I heard the most interesting story.  In between bites of ravioli and chocolate cake and  in between donations of a million here and a two million there (recession?  what recession?), there was live music.  One of the songs played was I Heard It Through the Grapevine, first made popular in 1966 by Smokey Robinson.  The woman next to me smiled and leaned in.

“I have a funny story about this song.”  She said and so I raised my eyebrows encouraginly.  “My husband and I were driving to Yosemite when the Credence Clearwater Revival version of this song came on.  We didn’t get many radio stations by that point of the trip so we listened.  It’s a pretty good version.”  She paused.  “Afterward, the song came on again.”

“The exact same one or a different version?”  I asked.

“Same exact song, same exact version.  And when that was done, it came on again.”

“Something was wrong at the radio station.”  I guessed.  “The CD player got stuck.”

“Nope, I don’t think so.”  She smiled.  “That song play for at least an hour and a half before we lost connection in the mountains.  The DJ probably played it his entire shift.  It was amazing.  We couldn’t change the channel.  It was one of those things – you just had to know if he was going to play it again.  We heard it at least 30 times.”

“Oh my god.  Any idea what was going on?”

“Well, somebody found out something and wanted the world to know.  Somebody was not happy with his lady.”

She went on to tell me that she’d heard of this happening on one other occasion in Chicago when the baseball league went on strike.  A DJ played Take Me Out To the Ballgame over and over for his entire shift. Point made, delivered, and slam dunked.

I’d love to have this kind of power; to be able to express myself so loudly and unambiguously.  You break my heart, I play songs about a low, down dirty snake.  You start a war, I play protest anthems.  I win the lottery and listeners get happy-happy all day long.  Why didn’t I think of this years ago?  I’ve clearly missed my calling.

Credence Clearwater Revival’s I Heard It Through the Grape Vine Lyrics

Ooh, I bet you’re wondering how I knew
About you’re plans to make me blue
With some other guy that you knew before.
Between the two of us guys, you know I love you more.
It took me by surprise I must say,
When I found out yesterday.  ooh.

I heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine.
Oh I heard it through the grapevine,
Oh and I’m just about to lose my mind.
Honey, honey yeah.

I know that a man ain’t supposed to cry,
But these tears I can’t hold inside.
Losin’ you would end my life you see,
Cause you mean that much to me.
You could have told me yourself
That you love someone else instead…

I heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine.
Oh I heard it through the grapevine,
Oh and I’m just about to lose my mind.
Honey, honey yeah.

People say believe half of what you see,
Son, and none of what you hear.
I can’t help bein’ confused
If it’s true please tell me dear?
Do you plan to let me go
For the other guy you loved before?

Ooh, I heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine.
Oh I heard it through the grapevine,
Oh and I’m just about to lose my mind.

Ooh, I heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine.
Oh I heard it through the grapevine,
Oh and I’m just about to lose my mind, honey, honey.

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