Open main menu

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday

"It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" is an R&B song written by Motown husband-and-wife songwriting team Freddie Perren and Christine Yarian for the 1975 film Cooley High. In the film, the song is performed by Motown artist G.C. Cameron, whose rendition peaked at number 38 on the Billboard R&B singles chart that same year. Perren also composed the instrumental score for Cooley High, and the B-side to "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" features two of his score compositions from the film.

"It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday"
Single by G.C. Cameron
from the album Cooley High: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack/G.C. Cameron
B-side"Haulin' + Cold Blooded (Instrumental)" by Freddie Perren
ReleasedSeptember 1, 1975 (1975-09-01)
Format7" single
Songwriter(s)Freddie Perren
Christine Yarian
Producer(s)Freddie Perren
G.C. Cameron singles chronology
"If You're Ever Gonna Love Me"
"It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday"
"Dream Lady"

Boyz II Men versionEdit

"It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday"
U.S. commercial cassette single
Single by Boyz II Men
from the album Cooleyhighharmony
ReleasedAugust 20, 1991
Format7" single
Cassette single
CD single
RecordedFall 1990
GenreR&B, soul, a cappella
Songwriter(s)Freddie Perren
Christine Yarian
Producer(s)Dallas Austin, Boyz II Men, Rex Salas
Boyz II Men singles chronology
"It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday"
"Uhh Ahh"

The composition fared better when recorded in an a cappella rendition by contemporary R&B Motown group Boyz II Men 16 years later. Boyz II Men's recording of "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" peaked at number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs on December 21, 1991. Over on non-genre specific charts the song reached number five on the Hot 100 Airplay on December 7, 1991 and number two on the Hot Singles Sales on November 23, 1991 and eventually went on to peak at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 on December 14, 1991, blocked from the top spot for five weeks by Michael Jackson's single "Black or White". "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" was included on Boyz II Men's first album, Cooleyhighharmony, its name a reference to the film from which the song originated.

The music video for the song featured archive footage of Jim Henson, Sammy Davis Jr. and Gilda Radner, who'd all passed away one to two years before.[citation needed]

The song was also featured in the films House Party 2, Lethal Weapon 3 (1992) and as the center of gags in Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008), and in episodes of the television series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Psych and Martin. It was featured in the American Dad! episode " News Glance with Genevieve VaVance" when Steve goes missing. It was also performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon immediately after Conan O'Brien's final Tonight Show in 2010, with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots singing it in the studio O'Brien had occupied when he hosted Late Night (now home of The Dr. Oz Show). The song was later sung by Tracy Morgan as part of a tribute to his 30 Rock co-stars that celebrated the show's then upcoming final episode. It was also featured on MTV during the current promotions of Jersey Shore's final season. In July 2013, the song was used by the show Game of Thrones at its Comic-Con panel in a tribute video to the characters killed off in its third season.[1] In the season 16 episode "Dog Bites Bear" of Family Guy, Stewie and Brian sing this song when they spread Rupert's ashes in Vermont. The Boyz II Men version is then heard when they drive back home.

Track listingsEdit

US Cassette Single

  • A It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday (LP Version)
  • Album Snippets
  • B1 Under Pressure
  • B2 Please Don't Go
  • B3 Lonely Heart
  • B4 Uhh Ahh
  • B5 It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday

Europe Maxi-CD

  1. It's Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday (Radio Version) 3:06
  2. It's Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday (Accapella Version) 3:49
  3. Album Snippets
  • 3a Under Pressure 0:48
  • 3b Please Don't Go 1:00
  • 3c Lonely Heart 1:00
  • 3d Uhh Ahh 1:03

Other versions and referencesEdit

Singer Jacky Cheung recorded a Cantonese version of "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" entitled "偷閒加油站" in 1993.

The Notorious B.I.G. humorously refers to the song in the song "Gimme the Loot," from his 1994 album Ready to Die, indicating that if a potential robbery victim tried to resist his efforts, the victim's bereaved mother would be left singing "It's so haaaard."

In 1995, Barrio Boyzz dedicated the song in Spanish to Selena after her death on March 31, 1995.

In 1998, rapper Master P with Mo B. Dick, Silkk the Shocker, and R&B group Sons of Funk did a loose version of the song titled as "Goodbye to My Homies".

In 2001, Usher sang the song a capella in memory of R'n'B singer and actress Aaliyah, who had been killed in a plane crash three days before.

In 2002, Busch Stadium played the song while showing a memorial video of late pitcher Darryl Kile.

In 2008, Jamelody included the song on his debut album, Be Prepared.

In 2012, R. Kelly sang a portion of the song a capella in the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Benji, which was a biography of Chicago HS basketball star Ben Wilson. Wilson was murdered in 1984 during an altercation with two teenagers at the age of 17 and Kelly was one of his AAU teammates. Kelly also sang the song as Wilson was being laid to rest the day of his funeral and recounted that for the film.

In 2012, Angela Aki sang the song using both English and Japanese lyrics.

In 2014, singer-songwriter Jason Mraz included the song on his fifth studio album Yes!, with rock-folk band Raining Jane providing back-up.

Radio stations in the United States changing formats have on occasion used this song to sign off their old format prior to the debut of the new one, such as longtime urban station V103 in Baltimore in June 1997.

On February 12, 2017, guitarist Josh Klinghoffer performed a short tease of the song during the Red Hot Chili Peppers show in Philadelphia

Charts and certificationsEdit

G.C. Cameron versionEdit

Chart (1975) Peak
US Billboard Hot Soul Singles[2] 38

Boyz II Men versionEdit


Region Certification Certified units/sales
New Zealand (RMNZ)[11] Gold 5,000*
United States (RIAA)[12] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Uproxx, "Game of Thrones Opened Its Comic-Con Panel With a Tribute Video Set to Boyz II Men" Retrieved 20 July 2013
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 99.
  3. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2048." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  4. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 5, 1993" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  5. ^ " – Boyz II Men – It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  6. ^ " – Boyz II Men – It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  7. ^ "Boyz II Men Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  8. ^ "Boyz II Men Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  9. ^ "End of Year Charts 1991". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  10. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1992". Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
  11. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Boyz II Men – It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  12. ^ "American single certifications – Boyz II Men – It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 9, 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit