California Dreamin' lyric question

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California Dreamin' lyric question

Postby Ars_Nova_Chris » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:22 pm

Has there ever been a definitive word on what exactly the lyric is for California Dreamin'?

Everything I see has a line to the effect of "You know the Preacher liked the cold. He knows I'm gonna stay." but obviously, this makes no sense. Surely, the correct lyric is, "You know the Preacher light the coal. He knows I'm gonna stay.", right?

It makes sense, and sounds like what was sang by both Barry and Denny.

Maybe someone could ask Michelle? ;)
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Re: California Dreamin' lyric question

Postby davidasix » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:42 pm

I think the lyric makes perfect sense. It is a cold winter's day. John and Michelle, who would not normally go into a church, find a warm place to stay in a church in NY. The preacher in the church likes the cold weather because he knows he'll have a captive audience for preaching because the alternative is going back out into the cold weather. At least that is the story I think John and Michelle were telling with the song.

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Re: California Dreamin' lyric question

Postby Tri.Moon » Sat Jul 11, 2009 2:00 pm

Nope, it's "You know the Preacher likes the cold. He knows I'm gonna stay." I have like 100 covers of this song and every single says "You know the Preacher likes the cold. He knows I'm gonna stay." Hall of Fame 1998 live version sounds like that. Also the Mamas and Papas Original Karaoke and it's lyrics says that, I bet that they don't put false lyrics in those ones. Preacher likes the cold because he is used to it, Michelle isn't. And yeah, Michelle and John just went into chruch because there was warm.

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Re: California Dreamin' lyric question

Postby Alby » Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:23 am

Here's my idea of the song:
"You know the preacher lights the coal, he knows I'm gonna stay" - John and Michelle are gonna stay into the church where they stopped because it's a winter's day, it's cold outside and the preacher lights the coal and they can get warm with it - as John explained in the Straight Shooter biography: "...stopped into a church to get warm because we were cold...".

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Re: California Dreamin' lyric question

Postby Tri.Moon » Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:42 am

Okay, I found another proof. This is from The Mamas & The Papas Guitar Songbook:
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Only odd thing is that there it says "liked". I just noticed that in CD version they all say "liked" but in Monterey Pop live version Denny's says "liked" and Cass and John says "likes". In Hall of Fame 1998 live version everybody says "likes" and in many covers it's always "likes". So you choose. The whole part is in past tense exept "He knows I'm gonna stay" so I guess they would have put "He knew" but it sounds stupid.
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Re: California Dreamin' lyric question

Postby Ars_Nova_Chris » Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:22 am

Lol, Tri.Moon, no karaoke, songbook, or anything you see anywhere else is proof of anything. The people making those things do not consult the writer/s of whatever song it is they're working on as to what the correct lyrics are. They just use whatever lyric they think they hear, or that they've read somewhere else (nowadays, I assume, generally just a lazy search on Google...).

The only proof there could be is to hear John Phillips say "this is what the lyric is intended to be...", and that's probably not gonna happen any time soon... ;)
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Re: California Dreamin' lyric question

Postby Tri.Moon » Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:11 am

Ars_Nova_Chris wrote:The only proof there could be is to hear John Phillips say "this is what the lyric is intended to be...", and that's probably not gonna happen any time soon... ;)


So you'r saying that not even the official The Mamas and The Papas Songbook is right and you can't trust it? Come on, they got that information somewhere and I bet it was reliable, I don't think that they would use internet instead asking the correct lyrics. That was made back in 2000 and I guess the internet wasn't in use so much.

And can I ask why the h*ll are you asking the correct lyrics if you don't belive anything, not even the official songbook? Plus you already know the answer to your question and that is that there's no chance that we will know the right lyrics, at least that's what you are saying. So stop asking questions if you can't take the answers and any proofs, smartass. ;)
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Re: California Dreamin' lyric question

Postby John Sands » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:07 am

I have been in many churches in NYC through the years and not once did the preacher light the coals for me. Not once, ever!!!!
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Re: California Dreamin' lyric question

Postby Admin » Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:59 pm

Tri.Moon wrote:
Ars_Nova_Chris wrote:The only proof there could be is to hear John Phillips say "this is what the lyric is intended to be...", and that's probably not gonna happen any time soon... ;)


So you'r saying that not even the official The Mamas and The Papas Songbook is right and you can't trust it? Come on, they got that information somewhere and I bet it was reliable, I don't think that they would use internet instead asking the correct lyrics. That was made back in 2000 and I guess the internet wasn't in use so much.

And can I ask why the h*ll are you asking the correct lyrics if you don't belive anything, not even the official songbook? Plus you already know the answer to your question and that is that there's no chance that we will know the right lyrics, at least that's what you are saying. So stop asking questions if you can't take the answers and any proofs, smartass. ;)


Let's try to maintain a little civility and watch the language, please. This is a family-friendly site!

Thanks,

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Re: California Dreamin' lyric question

Postby dunhill » Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:52 pm

Here's a video clip from the vault! It doesn't really answer the question of the lyrics, but is a good explanation of the origin of the song. I'm with the "you know the preacher likes the cold" crowd. To me, "the preacher lights the coals" does not make much sense. Anyway...

http://home.comcast.net/~genericmailbox/video.htm

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