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48 years of mishearing “I Get Around”

www.vinyl45s.com

I don't set the car radio on oldies stations. I usually put it on scan. At least when I'm by myself.

But I was on my way over to my mother's to watch the Preakness when the tuner landed on a snippet of “I Get Around” by the Beach Boys. It's a song I admired more when I was in grade school than I do now. But I listened.

And there it was. A lyric that has baffled me since I was 9.

“We always take my car cause it's never been beat

“And we never miss get with the girls we meet”

When I was a kid, I suspect I thought that was some sort of crude teen code for achieving a measure of closeness with bothersome females. Though why anyone would want to do that remained a mystery.

In later years, I might have factored in the possibility that I wasn't hearing it right. Maybe I have even known the actual line in the song at one time or another.

I once had occasion to visit briefly with the late Carl Wilson. I could have asked him.

“Hey, Carl. When your brother and cousin wrote 'I Get Around,' what were they saying about meeting girls?”

Fortunately, I said nothing of the sort. So when that song came on this afternoon, what I heard was “And we never miss get.”

Old habits die hard.

So, my mom and I watched I'll Have Another win the second leg of the Triple Crown. And I came home.

Then I looked up the lyrics to “I Get Around.”

Turns out the actual line is this: “And we've never missed yet with the girls we meet.”

Not quite so vulgar as “get,” I suppose. But it's still bragging.

Yes, hip hop didn't invent that.

“I Get Around” became a No. 1 hit in 1964. But the song on the other side of that 45 is the one that made me think the Beach Boys were special.


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Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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