complete tour included 11 stops. There are tours and tastings at all of these stops. We did everything at all of the stops except for the Jim Beam facility in downtown Louisville. The main thing that they had going on at that stop were just tastings. We arrived there late on our first day of the trip with plans to eat a meal and celebrate my son’s birthday in the 4th Street district in downtown Louisville where this facility is located. We moved to the celebration after walking through that shop.
While many of my songs are based directly on specific incidents, Cosmetic School Graduation is an exception. I have never fallen in love with anyone that cut my hair and I’ve never gone to a cosmetic school for a cheap haircut. I’ve had several real life experiences that were inspiration for this song. This is the story behind the song.
I remember as a kid, we would occasionally get Christmas cards that had the phrase “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” on the front. We would receive these cards from family members that I knew were good Christian women. I never thought of these phrases as potentially offensive to Christians. But it seems like we have gotten to a point in our world where people want to be offended by any type of greeting. If you say either of these phrases above, you are seen as trying to be politically correct to try and not offend non-Christians. If you insist on saying “Merry Christmas”, you are trying to be politically correct and not offend Christians. It seems that the argument is more about politics than it is about religion. And there shouldn’t be an argument at all.
When I decided to do a promotional video for “Electric Jesus”, I wanted to wait until the Christmas season to get footage of yards decorated with blow molded nativity scenes. I also decided I might like to purchase my own “Electric Jesus” to feature in the video. Jackson, Tennessee has a lot of shopping options so I thought would be able to easily find a nativity scene. This wasn’t as easy as I thought. Many retailers don’t carry any of these items anymore because I guess they don’t sell as many. I saw some on-line but I didn’t want to wait for them to ship. I decided to make a road trip to Memphis with my family to see what we could find there. We found a store there that had cartons and cartons of Electric Jesus. They didn’t have as many of the other pieces of the nativity scene. We took video of this shopping trip that we used for the early part of the video.
I have talked about writing It’s Gonna Rain in a previous blog post. When I decided to do a video for this song, I turned to my son for help. He was in charge of filming and editing all of my live action videos including the ones for Arkansas and Electric Jesus. I decided to replicate the construction on a very small scale with footage of making a paper boat. We needed to test the boat so I decided the best test would be in a large tub that we normally use at parties to ice down drinks. One of the challenges for any video shoot that involves rain is getting it to show up. We included footage of an actual rain shower at our house and I was impressed that it showed up so well. We hoped to get some shots of it “raining” on the boat. The rain would be water from a hose. The rain effect didn’t work. It destroyed one of the boats that we made for the shoot. We decided to just so the boat swirling around as the tub was filled with water.
You will also notice that I am wearing a disposable rain poncho during the later portion of the video. We had planned for the last time through the chorus for me to be singing in the poncho in the rain. Again, the rain effect didn’t show up good enough on the video. The out-takes from the video include footage of my youngest daughter spraying me with water from the garden hose.
I have written in a previous blog post about one of my 4-H experiences. For a couple of years in high school, I participated in 4-H as a member of a crop judging team. I spent a lot of time learning how to identify different types of seeds. I spent very little time learning how to evaluate hay which seemed to be the more important part of the competition. Anyway, I learned a little about crops and had a great time. We would go to competitions at the Mid-South Fair in Memphis. But the one that really counted was at the West Tennessee State Fair in Jackson. This was also my first exposure to the 4-H Chicken Shack.
In the liner notes for my new CD, I make the following statement about the title track: “Six Minutes After Seven draws from the apocalyptic images in the Book of Revelation.” I think the idea for the song is best illustrated in the lyrics of the fourth verse:
“The scroll will lose the seventh seal
The seventh horn will blow
The seventh woe will pour
Out from the seventh bowl
A seven headed dragon
Wearing seven crowns
Will intimidate a pregnant woman
And smash up the town
Angels will defend her honor
A war will start in heaven
And troubles spread upon the earth
At six minutes after seven”
What was it like for the people who saw Jesus do miracles? What would their reaction be? What would it be like to be in one of the people in the crowd of 5,000 that Jesus fed with five loaves of bread? Would you have even known what was going on with the food? What would it be like to see him heal a blind man or drive a demon out of someone? What would be your response?
We finally have the Arkansas video put together! The CD came out a year ago today. I don't remember how long before that I had actually recorded the song. It's one of my songs that gets the most requests and I had a really good time putting this recording and video together.
Next time you watch the video for "Tennessee Boxed Wine Enema", here are some bits of trivia and things to look for:
Singer, Songwriter, Entertainer, Storyteller