Song of the Day: The Chi-Lites, “Oh, Girl” and “Have You Seen Her”

Jim wants soul this week, which gives me a chance to talk about my home town, Chicago, and a couple of big contributions it made to the world of ’70’s soul.

First, the group, The Chi-Lites: four guys who met at Hyde Park High School, although one of the members, Eugene Record, attended Englewood High School, and another, Marshall Thompson, later transferred to DuSable High School and studied music under Walter Dyett. Their two biggest singles, "Have You Seen Her" (1971) and "Oh Girl" (1972), reached #1 on R&B/Soul chart and were Top Ten hits on the Hot 100 (#3 and #1, respectively).

These two performances were taken from videos of Soul Train. Don Cornelius, who had been a station announcer at WCIU-TV in Chicago, had an idea for an American Bandstand-type show specifically for young Black people. The station gave him the opportunity to create it, and it was such a smash that by its second season it moved to Los Angeles and into syndication. Tragically, Cornelius died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2012; one of my first blog posts was a tribute to him and the show he created.

Anyway…

[Verse 1]
Oh, girl
I’d be in trouble if you left me now
‘Cause I don’t know where to look for love
just don’t know how

[Verse 2]
Oh, girl
How I depend on you
To give me love when I need it
Right on time you would always be

[Bridge]
All my friends call me a fool
They say let the woman take care of you
So I try to be hip and think like the crowd
But even the crowd can’t help me now, oh

[Verse 3]
Oh, girl
Tell me, what am I gonna do
know I’ve got a guilty face
Girl, I feel so out of place, oh, yeah yeah

[Interlude]
(Du-du, du-du, du-du)
Don’t know where to go, who to see, yeah
(Du-du, du-du, du-du)

[Verse 4]
Oh, girl
guess I better go
can save myself a lot of useless tears
Girl, I’ve gotta get away from here

[Verse 5]
Oh, girl
Pain will double if you leave me now
‘Cause I don’t know where to look for love
And I don’t, I don’t know how

[Outro]
Oh, yeah, mmhmm
Oh, girl
Why do I love you so?
Yeah
(Du-du, du-du, du-du)
Better be on my way, I can’t stay, oh yeah
(Du-du, du-du, du-du)
Have you ever seen such a helpless man, oh no

Source: Genius

 

[spoken]
One month ago today
i was happy as a lark
But now I go for walks
To the movies, maybe to the park

And have a seat on the same old bench
To watch the children play, huh
You know, tomorrow is their future
But for me just another day

They all gather around me
They seem to know my name
We laugh, tell a few jokes
But it still doesn’t ease my pain

Well, I know I can’t hide from a memory
‘Though day after day I’ve tried
keep sayin’ she’ll be back
But today again I lied

[sung]
Oh, I see her face everywhere I go
On the street and even at the picture show
Have you seen her?
Tell me, have you seen her?

Oh, I hear her voice as the cold winds blow
In the sweet music on my radio
Have you seen her?
Tell me, have you seen her?

Why, oh why
Did she have to leave and go away, oh yeah
Oh, I’ve been used to havin’ someone to lean on
And I’m lost
Baby, I’m lost

Oh doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo
Have you seen her?
Tell me, have you seen her?

Oh doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo
Have you seen her?
Tell me, have you seen her?

Oh, she left her kiss upon my lips
But left that break within my heart
Have you seen her?
Tell me, have you seen her?

Oh, I see her hand reaching out to me
Only she can set me free
Have you seen her?
Tell me, have you seen her?

Why Oh why?
Did you have to leave and go away? Oh yeah
Ooh oh, I’ve been used to having someone to lean on
And I’m lost, baby I’m lost

Oh doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo
Have you seen her?
Tell me, have you seen her?

[spoken]
As another day comes to an end
I’m lookin’ for a letter or somethin’
Anything that she would send
With all the people I know
I’m still a lonely man
You know, it’s funny
But I thought I had her in the palm of my hand

[sung]
Have you seen her
Tell me, have you seen her (tell me, have you seen her?)

Oh doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo
Have you seen her?
Tell me, have you seen her?
Have you seen her?
Tell me, have you seen her?
Have you seen her?
Tell me, have you seen her?

Source: Genius

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday and Song of the Day for April 9, 2023.

32 thoughts on “Song of the Day: The Chi-Lites, “Oh, Girl” and “Have You Seen Her”

  1. I forgot Cornelius died that way….I can’t recall if it was accidental or not…I don’t think it was…
    Great songs and always those 70s clothes…hahahaa

    Like

  2. A couple of very memorable songs. I didn’t realize Soul Train started in Chicago. What a great show, he was such a cool dude. Chicago represents!

    Like

    1. The studio they had at WCIU was really small; it was a real shoestring operation. They’ve grown quite a bit and have new studios about a mile from their original location. Weigel Broadcasting, who’s owned the station all this time, also runs MeTV, Decades, Heroes & Icons and four other digital stations and a digital radio station (MeTV Radio).

      Liked by 1 person

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