Patterico's Pontifications


The Patterico Music Project: The Lyrics to “Was It Really You?”

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 7:43 am

Yesterday I debuted a song written by me in the early 1990s, and recorded by Jay Semko of the Northern Pikes this year (2015). It’s part of the Patterico music project, a quixotic project in which I try to convince my musical heroes to record songs I wrote in the early 1990s. I posted the first one last week (song; lyrics; original version) and posted the second one last night.

What, you didn’t hear it yet? Let’s fix that! Here it is again:

Below are the lyrics to that song. It’s a breakup song, and those are generally whiny by definition. (Although wait until next week, when we will have a breakup song in which Our Hero laments the fact that he didn’t treat the woman worse while he still had the chance!) The general theme, as you will see, is that Our Hero wonders whether he has just lost The Perfect Woman — or whether, instead, he was fooled by a woman who posed as The Perfect Woman, without really being her.

Remember: it’s not a Shakespeare sonnet; these are song lyrics. I don’t recommend reading them on their own. I have a much better idea: hit the play button above, and follow along as you listen to Jay.


I knew that it was true
That I could get to know you well
And love you in a way
I’d never loved before

They said I was a fool
My friends all said to take it slow
“She could be the one —“
“Or hurt you like before”

I’m not asking why
Why it was you said you had to go
But there’s just one thing
Just one thing that I would like to know

Was it really you I thought I loved
One summer night in July?
[‘Cause I have got to know]
Or was it the person
You wanted me to see?
[Was I only dreaming?]
[Was it really me?]

Where did I go wrong?
‘Cause if you never lived a lie
Pretending to be someone
You knew you’d never be

It must have been my fault
I couldn’t place the blame on you
How could I resent
The woman made for me?

It doesn’t matter why
People breaking up is nothing new
I just want to know
Was my perfect woman really you?

Was it really you who seemed so right
Like you were born in the sky?
[‘Cause I have got to know]
Or was it an image
That I should just let die?
[Was I only dreaming?]
[Was it really me?]

Please tell me the truth
Don’t lie to me now

What should I do now?
I think about you every day
Or think about a girl
That I once thought was you

I’ll never know the truth
Even though I know that you don’t care
I’ll ask you once again
[Ask you one last time]
I guess it’s just a cross I have to bear

Was it really you I thought I loved
One summer night in July?
[‘Cause I have got to know]
Or was it a person
You wanted me to see?
[Was I only dreaming?]
[Was it really me?]
[I’ve got to know]

Was it hard for you to tell the truth
Or was it harder to lie?
Should I be sad you’re gone
Or just be glad to say goodbye?
[Was I only dreaming?]
[Was it really me?]

Astute listeners may note that Jay left out a line at the end: “Should I be sad you’re gone?” I haven’t asked him about it, but I’m not sure it was deliberate. I think I contributed to the problem. As you’ll hear tomorrow, I screwed up that line in my performance, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Jay was thrown off by the variance between the lyrics I wrote and the lyrics I sang in the recording Jay was working off of. So I am chalking it up to the vagaries of a live performance — one which I absolutely adore. You live with the imperfections of a live performance, just as you revel in its spontaneity and honesty.

Tomorrow I’ll let you hear the original recording I made around 1991 or so.

8 Responses to “The Patterico Music Project: The Lyrics to “Was It Really You?””

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. These kinds of lyrics are things that everyone can relate to, but are also so very personal…an echo of a past. Thank you for sharing.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  3. I second Simon Jester’s comments, especially having lived through my son’s dating years. Does everyone think they lost their boyfriends or girlfriends because of some little thing they did wrong or because they cared too much? Maybe so but my perception is people find love when they are ready to look for it.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  4. Ditto the above comments.

    mg (31009b)

  5. DRJ, it feels different from the reality!

    Patterico, I used to write breakup poetry, and comparing your lyrics to the kind of stuff I wrote so long ago, I am positively ecstatic I don’t have musical inclination. I’m glad you do.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  6. I’m really enjoying this, Pat. I’ll dig up a few more 8-track demos and share them with you.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  7. Found one – it’s the same song I sent you before, but with a different singer and mix. To me, it sounds completely different; to everyone else, probably meh.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  8. I am deleting comments from the drive-by trolls, by the way. I think they’re all the same person and I suspect I know where they come from, generally.

    Patterico (2b72e1)

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