A Song To Which I Know All The Words | I Never Could Do

09 Jul | 30 days of music / art / music / personal | 4 comments

Have you heard me sing? Then you’ve heard me sing this one.

Were you my friend when I lived in Oklahoma? Did you ever ride in a car with me? Then you heard me sing along to it on any number of long drives. Most likely, you were singing along with me.

Did you ever see me work my friend Danny’s karaoke show? Well, “Say It Ain’t So” was always my first song.

Have you been to a party at my house? Did it, by design or circumstance, turn into a Rock Band jam session? Unfortunately for everyone involved, I think I can sing. Even more unfortunately, the creators included this song on the track list.

I just hope that by now people know it’s coming.

I know it backwards and forwards, almost as well as if I wrote it myself. I love it unconditionally. It’s in my range. So I sing it, a lot. Even if sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t.

Let’s have an aside, shall we?

I have a weird reaction to people reducing me to my tastes: my first impulse is to dump those tastes completely. This goes back to the summer following my seventh-grade year.

I was a participant in a program called Duke TIP at the University of Kansas. Roughly speaking, it was nerd camp. I went to KU’s campus for three weeks, lived in the dorms, and took an architecture course.

At the time, as is probably typical with most 13-year-olds, I was a moron. My wardrobe consisted almost entirely of Nike clothes, except for my denim shorts. Baseball cap, shirts, socks, shoes, the whole bit.

One day near the end of the program, I overheard some of the cooler kids commenting about the kid who wore all Nike clothes. (Even at a three-week camp consisting entirely of nerdy kids, we were able to clique up. Well, they were.)

They were not being complimentary. I was shamed. In a related story, if you don’t count my sneakers, you can now count on one hand the number of articles of clothing I own with prominent logos on them. This is not a coincidence.

In that case, I am certainly better for it, but there have been other times when someone has reduced me to what I like and I’ve been inclined to take similar drastic actions. I’ve had to basically talk myself down from doing so. I was, at one point, so affected by other people’s opinions that if they expressed a negative view of what I liked, I would change for them. Sad, right?

I swear there’s a reason I told that story, and that reason is this: my predictability in singing “Say It Ain’t So” has earned me some (hopefully) light-hearted ridicule. I’ve thought about removing it from my singing arsenal, as it were.

But then I hear the song, and I am reminded of how much I love it, and how I can’t help but sing along when it’s on, even occasionally embarrassing myself on the subway.

I know it’s not the coolest song in the world to know all the words of, but it’s mine, so you know what? I’ll never stop.


  1. Andey

    surfwax+ us in a car singing= fail.

  2. Adi

    My sister and I used to sing so much Weezer in the car that we had hand motions and parts and….we were pathetic. I still think it was awesome, though.

    And when someone insults my tastes, generally it’s after I’ve already done so. I kind of suck about how self-deprecating I am. (ha ha)

  3. Billy Nitro

    Oh no, I know about the being reduced to tastes. Even if someone reduces me to something I like and also likes that thing, my immediate reaction is to not like it. My gut reaction to seeing Phoenix UNplugged on MTV was to stop listening to Lisztomania, but hey. Sometimes popular crap is good too.