The Lyrics You Never Read

I heard the song on a “retro” show of hits from the 1980s and when it was over the announcer gave the name of it. I had heard the song many times and knew the lyrics by heart.

That’s not the name. The announcer was wrong. My memory was correct. Apparently it was not because a Google search for the song and the band indicated the show’s announcer had the title correct. I had heard it wrong. There are a lot of genealogy lessons in the misheard song title that have nothing to do with the music.

There are errors clerks make in records because they don’t understand what the person is saying. That wrong title reminded me to look at how others have transcribed records because my impression or interpretation could be incorrect. They reminded me that my first impression of something may be wrong and it can be difficult to get that impression out of my head. They also reminded me that it is important to interact with other researchers who may have heard or understood correctly.

They also reminded me that my memory of time can be off. The song was from the 1970s, not the 1980s. Maybe that was a denial on my part of the amount of time that passed.

And there’s the last reminder: people lie about their age.

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