In this case, happily, it was the day the music didn't die.
This particular Benson family reunion, under the inspired :) personal leadership of my grandfather Ezra Taft, was held in Nauvoo, Illinois, in the summer of 1979.
One of our activities was a boat ride on the Mississippi River. After being out on the Mighty Miss for a bit with Grandpa and the Gang and with no way to get off except to jump and try swimming to shore, things had gotten pretty boring, so I began looking around for something to liven up the joint.
Spotting a jukebox at the rear of the boat on the main deck, I went over and checked out the selections. Being a child of the '70s who loved good ol' rock 'n roll like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sly and the Family Stone and Chicago, I was disappointed in the old machine's meager offerings.
Finally, out of desperation, I settled on a Glen Campbell tune that I had never heard before--"Southern Nights"--and dropped in a quarter. It turned out to be a good call. The tune had a mild rock beat--and, as I was soon to find out--was unacceptably off the charts because of its suggestive lyrics. (For me, it was the day I became a fan of Glen Campbell).
Below is a cut of Campbell performing this classic with lyrics provided. Follow along and see if you can pick out the Satanic verses. Hit it, Glen!https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2zJBVdQd8iA
Have you ever felt a southern night,
Free as a breeze,
Not to mention the trees
Whistling tunes that you know and love so.
Just as good even when closed your eyes,
To any one who can truly say
That he's found a better way.
Have you ever noticed
Its precious beauty
Lies just beyone the eye,
It goes running through the soul,
Like the stories told of old.
He and his dog that walk the old land,
Every flower touched his cold hand,
As he slowly walked by,
Weeping willows would cry for joy.
"Joy . . .
"Feels so good,
Feels so good it's frightening,
Wish I could
Stop this world from fighting,
Da-da-da-da, da-da-da, da-da.
Like this and many others
In the trees,
Blow in the night,
In the southern skies.
They feel so good it's frightening,
Wish I could
Stop this world from fighting,
Da-da-da-da, da-da-da, da-da."
Thank you, Glen. Great job! (or to quote from the Mormon temple film, that was "the great day of your unplugged power.")
But wait . . .
If you're puzzled over proof of the song's perniciousness, you obviously are stumbling around in sinful darkness, utterly bereft of the guiding light of the Holy Ghost.
The tune was just getting into its oh-so-nasty "feels so good" groove when my Aunt Beverly Benson Parker (daughter of Ezra Taft and Flora) came marching over to the jukebox, where I was beginning to connect to the jungle throbbing of Campbell's carnal crooning.
Aunt Beverly--lacquered as she always was in layers of make-up and hair-sprayed so thoroughly that she snapped, crackled and popped when she walked--was a walking, stalking case of Mormon sexual hang-ups on a mission of divine decontamination from God.
More accurately, she was the Aunt Who Meant Well from Hell.
(This, by the way, was the same Aunt Beverly who, at a wedding banquet for my younger sister Meg, had, after listening to the father of the groom get up and offer a few remarks, leaned over and smugly observed, "Well, we know which family was blessed with the spirituality," causing one of the Benson sisters-in-law--May Hinckley who was married to my Uncle Reed--to get up in disgust and leave the table.)
But I digress.
Scowling so deeply that I was worried huge slabs of her make-up might fall off, crash through the deck and sink our boat, Bevy the Handmaiden Heavy told me in no uncertain terms that the song's lyrics were completely out of line and sternly ordered me to turn off the jukebox.
I informed her that the jukebox could not be stopped in mid-song and that the tune would have to play itself out.
Frustrated and with no personal priesthood power to stop the show, Aunt Beverly suggested that I unplug the contraption but I did not consider that to be a reasonable option.
At this point, she became quite perturbed and waited impatiently until the jukebox had stopped its Luciferian lyrics.
In the meantime, I spotted Grandpa Ez up toward the front of the boat, energetically dancing to "Southern Nights" with one of the granddaughters.
Which, I guess, made him a fallen prophet and led him to give the sermon, "The Fourteen Fundamentals of Dancin' with the Devil."
RIP, Glen Campbell.
Edited 27 time(s). Last edit at 08/14/2017 05:40AM by steve benson.