and I like to play cards. Canasta is the usually game of choice,
should there be a need to be specific.
play with friends. And, we often just sit down a couple of times
a week to play a round or two one-on-one.
these games, it isn’t uncommon for us to turn on some music in
the background. Lately, that means turning on the TV and switching
over to one of the DirecTV music stations. I used to love the
coffee shop station, but it has gotten to a point where it feels
like the exact same ten artists and twenty songs are playing in
rotation. So, the current station of choice has been the 70s channel.
of this is a bit of a roundabout way of saying that “The Night
the Lights Went Out in Georgia” was on recently. This sparked
a bit of a discussion, and for the life of me I could not recall
what the actual story of the song was.
had no idea it was about a wife having affairs and a murder and
the death of an innocent man. I had no idea about the twist involving
the singer’s part in the story.
there’s a chance I absolutely did know all of this and more at
one time, and since those days just forgot. The song was a hit
in my youth, back in the early single-digit years, and honestly
close to the “I am this many years old” declarations. I’ve heard
the song played plenty of times. But, it comes with a bit of a
cultural phenomenon status, like songs about muskrats and knocking
three times… where you know the tune and can identify it quickly,
but good luck remembering the names of the muskrats or how many
times to bang on the pipe to say no.
note: Suzie, Sam, twice.)
to the point, if you had asked me a year or two ago why the lights
went out, I would have found several reasons as possible…
a power outage.
something bad happened, bringing about the use of imagery such
the idea of lights going out and bringing on darkness.
pressed, I would have gone with the first. I know there are other
potential explanations, but it seems to work… something happened
in Georgia, something that has become legendary for the locals
over time, something the locals still talk about, and it caused
the lights to go out. Car hitting a telephone pole… massive storm
sweeping along… no more lights.
if I’m trying to recall exactly what I thought the song was about,
I’m not certain that I would give you the same answer throughout
my entire lifetime of knowing it. There could have been a time
when I did know all the lyrics and did know what the song was
about. The reality of recent times however is that for as long
as I can recall, I thought the song was about something that happened
during some a blackout in Georgia that was famous for some reason
I didn’t know. Something of “do you remember where you were when”
crazy thing for me is that this isn’t a case of misheard lyrics.
Instead, I simply both knew and didn’t know the song. I knew Vicki
Lawrence sang it. I knew the title of the song and the melody.
Knew the primary lyric. But the reality of what was going on?
that’s the story of the night the lights went on… so to speak.
Bit of a reach for a joke to wrap things up… but then again, probably
not an isolated incident. I just need to discover the background
on a few more songs I thought I knew.