So happy together

It was 1967 when The Turtles released “Happy Together.” Penned by songwriters Alan Gordon and Garry Bonner, the catchy pop song rose to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100—The Turtles only number one hit. As you can see in this picture of sixteen-year-old me taken about that time, I was happy to escape into this fantasy world.

Adolescence is not always so very fine, and The Turtles weren’t always happy together either. In 1970, amid financial troubles, disenchantment with their record label, and artistic disagreements, The Turtles broke up. Since then, the song has been used in movie soundtracks and played during Oldies tours in which some former members of The Turtles participated.

Most people think “Happy Together” is a love song—I did. But if you read or listen to the lyrics carefully, you realize the song is about someone dreaming about love, imagining if.

Imagine me and you, I do… 

If I should call you up, invest a dime… 

Imagine how the world could be, so very fine

So happy together

Also note the verses written in a minor key and the shift to major for the chorus. “Happy Together” is not about being together. It’s about unrequited love until a hint at the end: We’re happy together…


Together, and how is the weather? 

The weather is fine this week here at Vanaprastha, I’m happy to say. Plenty of rain and sunshine and togetherness. I’ve written about Bonhoeffer’s Life Together, a classic guide to Christian living. No dreaming or imagining there. It’s about being together in unity, as with yesterday’s ensemble at church—45-minute mark.

And there’s more togetherness and fine weather to come, unlike five years ago when I blogged about visiting my friend Sarah and my struggles to hold it together when a storm took down a tree. I hope to see my friend later this week, and my uncle, aunt, and cousin in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, before Hippocampus Magazine’s creative nonfiction conference begins. Saturday morning at HippoCamp, I’m offering a session about writing in the third chapter of life, about healing past wounds. The main takeaway is that if we embrace the suffering caused by our wounds, we’ll find healing. “Go into the heart of danger, for there you will find safety,” as the Chinese Proverb says.

We’ll be in community and do it—together. And that’s very fine, indeed.

Link up with Five Minute Friday:


  1. aschmeisser

    In this time of stormy weather,
    would that we could spend a dime,
    talk, and laugh, and come together,
    for surely now must be the time
    to lay aside arrow and sling,
    let the rock fall from the hand,
    let the Holy Ghost take wing
    and teach us how to understand
    that all our anger merely burns
    our heart and soul from deep within;
    for boon of cooling we must turn
    away from vaunting pride and sin,
    and bow the head and take the knee,
    to lose the stubborn me in He.

    • Carole Duff

      Love this, thank you! -C.D.

  2. Corinne Rodrigues

    I remember that song, but hadn’t listened too closely to the words – I will do that again!
    Here’s praying that your session goes well!
    Visiting you from FMF #33

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you, Corinne! I loved the honesty and optimism in your FMF together post! -C.D.

  3. bigskybuckeye

    I can remember a few of the Turtles’ songs, but usually my memory works better when I hear it playing. I must admit that sometimes I am guilty of not paying close enough attention to the lyrics as I’m caught up with the melody. Blessings to you in the coming week.

    • Carole Duff

      When listening to music, I attend to the melody, rhythms, and harmonies more than the lyrics, too.

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you for your comment, Ellen, and happy 50th High School Reunion! -C.D.


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