New Year's Resolution
It was the golden summer of 2000. The new millennium had dawned the winter before and this was a summer of promise. Morgan, my best friend and I were returning home. We had just been to Ohio on a road trip and we were in the last half hour of our travels. We were in his parents’ station wagon and the breeze from the open windows was warm on our faces. We had dropped off all the other wayward travelers in our group and the Saturn wagon, which we had been shoe horned into at the beginning of our journey, was now blissfully spacious. Yep, just two friends on the road; local boys heading back to the small lakeside town where they grew up.
As with any road trip music was important and at this precise moment we were rockin' out to some mid-90's Michael Jackson, one of our shared favorites. Now, I don't bandy around the term "rockin' out" carelessly as some are in the habit of doing. When I say, "rockin' out" I mean just that. We were into it. The car was full of raucous outbursts of "oooh!" and "oww!" that are necessary to any official Michael Jackson rock out. If I recall correctly we were even dancing and gyrating to the beat as much as our seat belts would let us.
Eventually one of our favorite Jackson hits rolled around on the CD: a little gem called "Remember the Times". This song is sweet not to mention funky and it only amped up our mobile jam session bringing it to a new plateau of enthusiasm. Both long time Jackson fans we knew the words by heart and we were doing our best to follow along. All in all we did quite well. We only started to falter a bit at the end of the song when Michael, King of Pop that he is, does some vocal adlibs and improvised exclamations. However we had heard the song enough times that we were hitting most of the added stuff.
Now both Morgan and I are tenors so we tend to likes the higher pitched registers to begin with. However Michael is really more of an alto, and at times is just off the tonal charts all together. So, in order to nail some of those high pitched adlibs we were really forced to belt 'em out at the top of our lungs.
It was a thing to behold. Two suburban white boys doing 75 down the southwest Michigan highway screaming Michael Jackson, twisting in our seats to the beat, and loving every minute of it. It certainly wasn't the first time it's happened and I'm sure it won't be the last.
Anyway there we were absolutely howling out the last words of the song:
"Do you Remember the times?! Yeah, Yeah. In the Park, On the Beach. Remember the times!" we shouted together.
And then Morgan continuing to sing along with the song yelling louder still with heartfelt conviction "You and me in SPAIN!!!!!"
I looked at him and burst out laughing.
"Did you just sing "In SPAIN?"
"Yeah..." He said sheepishly.
"I don't think it's "In Spain". Why would they be in Spain? It's "it's FATE." I explained, enjoying this chance to for once know a lyric his sponge-like brain hadn't absorbed.
We had a good long laugh and from then on I'd kid him every time we heard that song and we'd revel in his confident and fortissimo "You and Me in SPAIN!!!!"
In fact just the other day Much Music a Canadian MTV-esque channel was airing a special on the King of Pop himself. I watched and silently hoped they would show some clips from "Remember the Times". I wasn't disappointed. "Listen to this Jacqui. This is the one Morgan thought was ‘In Spain’.” I said to my wife, as the famous last stanzas approached. I listened and waited for the fated lyric. Finally I heard "You and Me—" and then wonder of all wonders I heard what sounded just like "—in SPAIN!"
I was incredulous. I raced to the all-knowing Internet and looked up the lyrics...Sure enough it was "In Spain". I went to still more lyric sites and again found site after site: "You and Me...in Spain".
In light of the New Year I thought it would only be appropriate to clear my ledger sheet of burdensome faux paus, unintended misdeeds and past grievances.
So Morgan I'm sorry. You were right. From now on when “Remember the Time” cues up on your iPod (as I'm sure it will) know that you can sing with confidence the words that you heart first recalled that golden summer day and bare no more the mockery that I have levied upon you.
I know it's all for the best but truth be told I'm a bit sad that the joke has to end, but I suppose I'll be consoled by the fact that whenever I hear that catchy tune I'll still think fondly of you and know that in my heart we'll always have our time "In Spain!!"