How Can I Tell Her About You?

I hadn’t listened to “How Can I Tell Her,” by Lobo, in a long time. In the early 90s, when I first came to America, I heard this tune covered by a handful of Vietnamese singers including Don Hồ, Trung Hành, Henry Trúc, and Kenny Thái. In fact, I hadn’t even listened to the original version by Lobo. At the time, I did not fully understand the story behind the lyrics because of my limited English. The Vietnamese version, sang by Don Hồ, was completely different.

A couple of days ago, I came across an acoustic karaoke version on YouTube and I could recall the melody. As I sang along, I realized the story was pretty fucked up. The guy was a cheater and he wanted to keep on cheating. He tried to convince the girl he was cheating with that he wanted to tell his wife about their infidelity, but he hadn’t done so because his wife still treated him well: “Whenever I’m discouraged / She knows just what to do / But girl, she doesn’t know about you.”

The music was so romantic and he knew exactly what to say: “How can I say ‘It’s you I think of’ / Every single night and day?” This guy is a damn-good cheater. I definitely couldn’t tell the story, but I tried.