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A Historical Review Of I Heard It Through The Grapevine, By Marvin Gaye

1175 words - 5 pages

Trials come with all great things, right? This must be true because “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” was recorded numerous times before Marvin Gaye released the famous version that is still popular today (Carlos). The song was first recorded by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, but Motown’s owner refused to release it. The version by Glady’s Knight & the Pips received some success. However, Marvin Gaye’s version is the one that is in the history books (Carlos).
Today, “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” is one of the most popular songs for covers. It is regularly performed on competitive singing shows like American Idol and X Factor. In fact, the wonderful Fantasia Barrino once performed an amazing rendition of the song during her time on idol. Candice Glover won the 2013 season of American Idol; her cover of the song received positive feedback from all the judges. The song has also been covered by popular artists like Amy Winehouse and Creedence Clearwater.
VH1’s Top 100 Rock Songs of the 1900s list has a wide array of great rock songs that are still enjoyed today. There is “My Girl” by the Temptations that even five year olds know every word to. There is also “Hey Jude” by the Beatles which is one of the most popular Beatles song which speaks a lot about the song since the Beatles have so many classic hits. Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” is even on the list; this song is the official anthem for women. All of these are amazing, but no song deserves a spot on the list more than Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard it Through the Grapevine”. Gaye’s classic has a depth, a meaning, and a cultural significance that many other songs attempt to portray, but they fail.
Gaye’s classic can have multiple meanings. The basic meaning deals with infidelity. The songs tells the story of a man who hears that his girlfriend is cheating on him with another guy that she had known from previous encounters. The man is surprised and hurt that the girlfriend would cheat on him. However, he thinks it is even worse that she did not tell him about her actions. He instead had to hear it through the grapevine. His exact words are:
Ooh, ooh, I bet you're wonderin' how I knew
About your plans to make me blue
With some other guy you knew before.
Between the two of us guys
You know I love you more.
It took me by surprise I must say,
When I found out yesterday (Gaye).
In the second verse, the man even admits that the girlfriend’s actions have made him cry even though a man is not supposed to cry. He states, “I know a man ain't supposed to cry/
But these tears/ I can't hold inside” (Gaye).
There is also a deeper meaning. Gaye’s classic highlights the dangers of lying and cheating. The girlfriend did not want her boyfriend to discover that she was with one of her previous lovers. However, someone told someone then that someone told another someone until the information finally reached the boyfriend. The girlfriend’s attempt to sneak around with the other man failed. As a result, the relationship...

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