Go Where You Wanna Go

Roger and Leslie, Corning Glass Works
For her 12th birthday, my sister Leslie received her own guitar. With some assistance from my father, a largely self-taught player, she became quite competent with it in about a month. And that really became the birth of the Green Family Singers, when the three of us used to sing around Binghamton, NY together from 1966 to 1971. The program initially was a variation of what my father had been singing by himself. We would sing harmony on some choruses or responses, for instance, though there were a number of pieces that were three-part harmony throughout.

Leslie and I pretty much stole Hole in the Bucket from my father’s repertoire, though. It was much more dramatic with the two of us than him doing both voices. Leslie always sang the Beatles ‘ song Yesterday. And Leslie and I, in our only other nod to then-contemporary music, sang Go Where You Wanna Go. We first heard it on a Mamas and Papas album, and listened to it a lot. Here’s their version, which was a 1996 album cut. This is the version by The 5th Dimension, their first hit single, getting up to #16 on the Billboard charts in 1967.

You gotta go where you wanna go,
Do what you wanna do
With whoever you wanna do it with.
You gotta go where you wanna go,
And do what you wanna do
With whoever you wanna do it with.

I had to work REALLY hard NOT to change the lyrics to ‘with whomever’.

Leslie was in Albany for my 50th birthday party, and at some point near the end of the evening, we sang “Go Where You Wanna Go.” In re: some conversation we had earlier this year, my advice to my dear sister is for her to go where she wants to go.

Happy birthday, Leslie. Love you.

7 thoughts on “Go Where You Wanna Go”

  1. I finally gave away the guitar I bought for Riley years ago. It went to my friend Charlie for his son… then to my friend Chris, who wanted to learn how to play. I saw it still in the box at her house and said, “Oh, that was my guitar, originally!”

    Guess where it ended up. Yup. Better get strummin’, I guess!

    I love that your family sang together! Wish I could have heard you, and the song “Go Where You Wanna Go” is a great folkie tune, always loved it. Amy


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