Dear Tom Selleck . . .
Do you ever hear a song you haven't heard since you were a kid and it takes you back? And then suddenly, it takes you aback? Like in a 'What the fuck did he just say?!' kind of way? That happened to me recently. With a Lee Greenwood song of all things. Lee fucking Greenwood. Lee fucking. Mister God Bless the USA. fucking Greenwood. He's so squeaky clean that it makes me feel better to fuck up his name a bit. Plus, I may still be harboring a little bitterness about having my childhood censored.
Back to the story.
When I was a kid, I was not allowed to listen to what had been deemed 'secular music' by my mother and the good people of the church. It was all satanic. Pronounced say-TON-ic by those same wise church folk, and by my mother. All she had to do was hold an album, and she could feel the sayTONic vibes coming from it. I watched them burn albums (not to mention books) in a bonfire behind the church on more than one occasion. Basically, if it was not gospel music or christian rock, you would spend an eternity burning in hell. And no one wants that. So, I quietly watched The Beatles Yellow Submarine go up in smoke.
I don't know if country music had been grandfathered in under god, under the church, under my mother, or if it was one of the seven things my dad put his foot down about and we kept our mouths shut about, but regardless . . . we listened to it, especially if my dad was spinning the tunes on a road trip. My mother and sister would pass out, and he and I had a set of tapes that took us to West Virginia and back: Kenny Rogers, Anne Murray, Tammy Wynette, and Lee fucking Greenwood.
My dad and I knew every word of every song on every tape. Neither of us could carry a tune in a bucket, but we loved to sing in the car! You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run . . . Even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with you honey . . . Stand by your man, give him two arms to cling to, and something warm to come to . . . It's everything that is wrong with me today. It is also everything that is right with me.
Well, there was this Lee fucking Greenwood song I loved: Morning Ride. Enough said.
But, I'll go on.
Because I loved to ride in the car, I loved that fucking song. Loved it. Belted it out. Could not wait to grow up and meet a boy that would take me for a car ride in the morning. That was my version of Prince Charming and happily ever after. I was a teenage girl at that point. A virgin would be an understatement.
Over the weekend, I heard the song for the first time in decades. As I sang the old, familiar tune, with visions of watching the sun rise through the car window on a country road, it hit me. Um, I'm pretty sure this song is about sex. Not totally sure, but pretty damn sure. Even when he is trying to fool us into believing it's an actual car ride, he uses the term 'spanking'. Spanking. I can't be certain, but I detect a hint of, "Yes sir, may I have another", at the end. Then again, it's Lee fucking. Mister God Bless the USA. fucking Greenwood. He's so squeaky clean, he's probably never even had sex. I'd hate to misinterpret the lyrics.
What do you think, Tom? I'm going out on one of Satan's fiery limbs and saying it's about sex. I kind of hope so. I still like the corny little song. And if there's a boy who wants me to wake him up and go for a morning ride, then do it again? What can I say? It makes for a better Prince Charming and happily ever after than some dude who wants to throw me in a car first thing in the morning.
Edie B. Kuhl