Dum doobie do dum dum

I’ve taken voice lession twice in my life. Once in the fifth grade and then years later towards the end of high school. The first time around my teacher was named LeAnn and she liked to teach show tunes and old 60’s medleys. For the only recital I ever did as her student I performed two songs. One was “Sweet Betsy from Pike” and the other was a 60’s medley that started out with the song “Breakin’ Up is Hard to Do” (by Neil Sedaka). As a 10 year old, always intoxicated by my most recent crush, who would do no more than steal my jacket on the school bus, I had no experience breaking up and I didn’t know that it was something that was hard to do. I sang the words, but not the meaning behind them. These days I’m a little better acquainted with just how hard breaking up really is.

Tonight my ex-boyfriend called me, and after we hung up, I started humming “dum doobie do dum dum, cumma cumma, dum doobie do dum dum” and thinking about exactly how hard breaking up with him has been. There is still a part of me that truly doesn’t understand break ups in general. When your relationship is grounded in intense love and friendship, how is it possible to stem that flow like it has an on/off switch?

It has been almost a year since our relationship ended (and before tonight almost three months since we’d talked). Every time I think I’m done with the process of grief and angry and sadness and frustration that that ending brought about, it starts over again and I find myself repeating those feelings, albeit minutely reduced. The craziest part is that these days, I don’t regret the break up. We had a lot of differences, and there are probably people out there who are better for both of us (although I don’t think that either of us have found those other people yet. At least I know I haven’t).

I have friend (almost a brother), who has known me since the day I was born. I saw him in Portland about a month after the initial break up. We were sitting in my parents’ living room, and he was trying to make me feel better. He told me that everyone has to have a bad break up, it is part of living. That I couldn’t have expected to get through life without one and that had I gone fifty years with this guy, I would have always known that I missed out on one of life’s big experiences. So that in some crazy way, I should be grateful, because this is just one of those things that I had to do, and better to have gotten it over with.

I guess he was right, because at least now, I can sing that song with feeling. Dum doobie do dum dum…

(on a side note, I just googled the lyrics for Breakin’ Up and discovered that the dum doobie do dum dums aren’t even original to the song, they must have been added by the people who wrote the medley. I’ve been singing it wrong, for all these years!).

0 thoughts on “Dum doobie do dum dum

  1. Sherri

    Au contraire, mon liepschen!

    The transcriber may have deemed the verbal-nonverbals as unworthy of notation, but I can attest that the original Neil Sedaka single had them.

    I, myself, spell that section as “down doobie-doo down down, comma comma down doobie-doo down down…” But it’s the same basic idea. 😉

    As for “stemming the flow like there’s an on/off switch,” no, I don’t think that’s possible, at least not for me. Even when I’ve had a clean break to end a relationship, if that relationship (romantic, friendship, whatever) had any import to me, the emotions faded at a much more irregular and cyclical pace.

    YMMV, o’ course….

  2. Anonymous

    It’s good of you to share your ex-boyfriend pains with the universe this way. If I could relate an anology I like to reflect on when I hear somelike like what you wrote:

    A relationship is an organic thing, taking physical root in parts of your memory, hopes, dreams, expectations, etc. When it ends, it’s effects don’t simply disappear- when a tree dies, it is eaten by new things; bugs of self-doubt, mold of longing, other creatures of envy, and plants of what-could-have-been. When all these consume the dead tree, they look for more dead trees; but if we starve them for long enough, then none of these feelings will take root and be a part of our next beautiful tree, which arises from the nourished, clean, enriched grounds from which the earlier trees have come and into which they’ve been absorbed.

    So, all things in time, and in order.

  3. Marisa

    thanks for letting me know that there are the verbal-nonverbals in that song. I’m glad I’m not crazy. Well, at least not about that!


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