Monday, June 19, 2006

The Devil Decreased to Georgia (Charlie Daniels Band)

Completing the trilogy of songs that played on my parent’s preferred radio station when I was young and that impressed upon me the consequences of the choices one makes in life, is this, a song that my parents then and I now view with a certain amount of embarrassment. The sheer literalness of the Faustian bargain portrayed here is why one cannot listen to a good 60% of Christian Rock without being overcome by confused pity, but here the hard shellac of 25 years of irony helps out a bit.

Was “Country” better before it lost the vestigial tail “-and Western”? I don’t know, but I like how Johnny wins not by outwitting the Devil by discovering a small technical loophole in the contract or something like that (which smacks of Elitist East Coast Liberalism), but simply by dint of the fact that Being an American Automatically Means You Are Better Than the Devil (which was John Abizaid’s runner-up name).

Just look at Charlie Daniels:
Was this the face that lunched a thousand chips?
And ain’t that America?

N.B. In Russia, the Devil goes up to Georgia, a nice touch, but this is from the Dutch, where the sun increases and Old Scratch must decrease. Gentlemen, start your monotonic functions.

--Samantha Moss

The devil decreased to Georgia. He sought a soul to steal.
He in was binds because he was mannered, and he was prepared to make an agreement.
Then he, concerning these young people came who play, saw and it on fiddle hot
And the devil on hickory stump jumped and said: “The boy let me tell you which --
I assume you it did not know, but I am also fiddle player
And as the care you’d to take dare, I now into a bet with you.
You turn rather good fiddle-game, but give the devil, to boy, to have been appropriate:
I bet fiddle of gold against your soul, because I think I improve be then you.”

The boy said: “Johnny of my name, and it a sin can be,
But I will take your bet, you will regret, because I am the bests that ever.”

Johnny, you resin up your arc and plays your fiddle hard
Because the hell break separately in Georgia
And the devil the cards address.
And, if you win, you get this gleaming fiddle which are golden,
But if you lose, get the devil your soul.

The devil put its case open and he said: “I this show to start,”
And the fire flew of its finger tops since he are up arc rosined.
And he drew the arc concerning its ties and it made an angry “SIS” consonance,
Then joined a link of demons, and it sounded something as this

[music containing the “SIS” consonance -SM]

Then, the concluded devil, Johnny said: “Are well, you rather good, Old Son,
But will sit as that President, right, and one can there you show how it would be done

Do the fire on the mount, lope, youngsters, lope
The devil in the house of increasing sun
Chicken in the bread needle, which paste
“Granny selects, your hound bite do?”
“No, child, no.”

[music that is frankly less interesting than the earlier music -SM]

The devil bent its head because he knew that he’d beat
And he empty that golden fiddle said on the spot at the feet to Johnny
Of Johnny: “The devil comes only on back if you want ever try again
Because I you once told, you son of a female is,
I the bests that ever.”

And he played fire on the mount, lope, youngsters, lope,
The devil in the house of increasing sun
Chicken in the bread needle, which paste
“Granny selects, your hound bite do?”
“No, child, no.”

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