Sunday, November 14, 2021

What ever happened to Paul and Paula?

 


If you turned on the radio in late 1962 or early 1963, you almost certainly would have heard a young couple singing about their desire to tie the knot.

 

Hey, hey Paula, I want to marry you
Hey, hey Paula, no one else will ever do
I've waited so long for school to be through
Paula, I can't wait no more for you
My love, my love

Hey Paul, I've been waiting for you
Hey, hey, hey Paul, I want to marry you too
If you love me true, if you love me still
Our love will always be real
My love, my love

 

“Hey Paula” was a song recorded by the duo Ray Hildebrand and Jill Jackson. Hildebrand was a student at a small college in Texas and Jill was the niece of the owner of the boarding house where Ray lived.

 

“Hey Paula” sold 2 million records and remained the #1 tune on the Billboard Charts for the entire month of February, 1963. Evidently, Ray and Jill were never an item. But what about the young lovers in the song?

 

According to statistics, high school sweethearts who marry as teens have a 54% chance of their marriage lasting a decade. Only 19% of those teens ever attend college. So, it’s highly likely Paul and Paula went their separate ways by 1974. 

 


 
Still, it is one of those songs that makes you speculate about what may have happened.

 

For instance, Carol King in “It Might as Well Rain Until September” spends months sitting home writing letters, waiting for her sweetheart to return. But what if the unnamed boyfriend met someone else while away? Would Carol kick herself for frittering away an entire summer? 

 

 


 

In “Meet Me at Midnight Mary”, Mary’s Dad is the boss man who thinks her boyfriend is a total loser. But we learn she has married him anyway despite a potentially bleak future.

 

 

Soon as I have some money

For a home and everything
We won't have to keep it a secret
That you've got my wedding ring.

 

Boy, wait till Daddy finds out! Did her folks have the marriage annulled? Or did the newlywed work hard and become a big man in town?

 

 


 

Then there is Lesley Gore in “Judy’s Turn to Cry.” How long will it take for that fickle creep Johnny to turn his attention to some other cute chick?

 

We can only guess. So what do you think?

 

Are Paul and Paula somewhere looking forward to their 60th wedding anniversary? Or was their marriage on the rocks decades ago?

 

Chuck Berry had a more optimistic take on young love in “You Never Can Tell.”

 


It was a teenage wedding, and the old folks wished them well
You could see that Pierre did truly love the mademoiselle
And now the young monsieur and madame have rung the chapel bell
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell.

 

Drop me a note if you get an invite to the P & P anniversary bash.

 

 

4 comments:

  1. I just loved this! It's so true and this would make an awesome mixed playlist!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! It would make a good playlist along with some others like "Save your love for me".

      Delete
  2. In September 1967, my freshman-year roommate at the University of Florida brought with him a record player and a copy of the Association's then-new single, 'Never My Love'. He played it every night... before and after he called his high-school sweetheart on the pay phone down the hall.
    "You wonder if this heart of mine will lose its desire for you... never my love, never my love/ how can you think love will end when I've asked you to spend your whole life with me?"
    Those lyrics are ingrained in my memory, and not in a pleasant way. If I hadn't heard the song incessantly, I might have thought the lyrics romantic. Instead, they sounded sappy at best, saccharine at worst.
    My roommate went home for Christmas break and never returned. His parents cleaned out his personal belongings, never disclosing what had happened to their son. Did he elope? Did he transfer to her school (I had the impression she was in her senior year of high school, so that's unlikely). What became of the two of them? If they married that Christmas, they will be celebrating their 54th anniversary next month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had similar experiences with friends who couldn't concentrate on studies because they were pining for sweethearts elsewhere. Some dropped out of school, others transferred and many flunked out. It would be interesting to know what really happened to your roommate.

      Delete