Accept No Substitutions

I can’t stand most substitutions. Sometimes they’re OK: like when you’re in a restaurant and you don’t want the mashed potatoes, so you ask (politely) for a baked potato instead. And other times, they’re not: like when you ask the waiter if it’s OK if you substitute peaches for the apples in the apple brown betty or ask for the baked Alabama instead of the Alaska.
But for the most part, no.
Earlier this week, I mentioned that when I was in chorus in fourth grade, one of the songs we sang was “Feelin’ Groovy”. Our repertoire consisted mainly of insipid mind-numbers. Stuff that would qualify as “easy listening” or “contemporary adult”. But to really mix it up, the music teacher included a Beatles song. Granted, it was “Yesterday”, which isn’t the most rollicking, but still, she was trying to show us that she was pretty groovy after all.
Now, I don’t hate the song “Yesterday”. I actually like it, in small doses. However, as with other songs, I like it only when its lyrics are left intact. For instance, I don’t want “she” changed to “he” (as in “”Something in the way he moves …” or “He works hard for his money …”). I don’t ever want anyone to change The Turtles’ “So Happy Together” to say, “I should call you up, invest a quarter” rather than “… a dime”. And I wish I never had to sing this:

Yesterday, all our troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay
Oh, we believe in yesterday.
Suddenly, we’re not half the group we used to be
There’s a shadow hanging over us
Oh, yesterday came suddenly.
Why they had to go, we don’t know, they wouldn’t say
We said something wrong, now we long for yesterday.
Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play
Now we need a place to hide away
Oh, we believe in yesterday.
Mm mm-mm mm mm-mm-mm.

Painful, no?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go listen to “You Aren’t Anything But A Hound Dog.”