That's Where I Went Wrong

Album: Which Way You Goin' Billy? (1969)
Charted: 29

Songfacts®:

  • Terry Jacks of "Seasons in the Sun" fame was the producer and songwriter for The Poppy Family, which was actually just the duo of Terry and his wife, Susan (they were married from 1967-1973).

    Terry started writing this song in the mid-'60s when he was part of a group called The Chessmen. The group was from Vancouver, but were assigned a recording session in Nashville, which they traveled to by bus (about 2,500 miles). "It was hell," Terry told us. "And I was leaving this girlfriend behind. She dumped me. I got that feeling, like 'this bus is awful cold, we've gone so many miles, God, please help me go to sleep and forget her for a while. I know it's not her fault, I've known it all along. I was the one that trusted her, that's where I went wrong.' So I caught that emotion. Because she'd left me for somebody."
  • Jacks was just 17 years old when he wrote this song, and he says "it just flowed," the fastest he's ever written a song.
  • Terry Jacks never recorded this song with The Chessmen, but after he formed The Poppy Family in 1968, he recorded it for their first album, which was released in 1969. It was sung by Susan Jacks, so Terry transposed the lyrics to make it about a girl who is lovelorn, not a guy. This happened a lot: Terry would write a heartfelt song but have to change it so it could be sung by his wife. One of the reasons Terry embarked on a solo career was so he could sing his own songs as he wrote them.

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