When I was in about fifth grade, one of the classes we took was chorus.  Usually we’d work on our songs for the year-end recital, but one week they let us off to sing some fun popular songs, like “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and “Grandma’s Featherbed.”  The lyrics were printed in purple-type mimeograph ink (damn, that stuff smelled good).

One of the songs was Dr. Hook’s “Cover of the Rolling Stone.” I was amused that they changed the line from “I got a freaky old lady named Cocaine Katy” to “Cold Kane Katy.”  Come on, we’re 10, but we’re not stupid.  Well, a few of us aren’t.

I brought the lyrics home and had sat them on my bed with some other stuff.  The next day my mom stopped me in the hallway and said, “Gary, come to my room.  I need to talk to you.”  That was never a good thing to hear.

We went into my parent’s bedroom.  She had the lyrics in her hand.  She said, very seriously, “I don’t think I like the Rolling Stones.”

I said, “what do you mean?”

She said, “I don’t think they believe in Jesus.”

I finally gathered that she was upset over the lyric, “we got a genuine Indian guru who’s teaching us a better way.”

I calmly explained to her that, first, it wasn’t the Rolling Stones.  It was Dr. Hook singing about getting on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.  And it was a comedy song, and I thought it was really funny, and many other people must’ve thought so too, because it was a very popular song.

She finally settled down, but at that moment I realized: my mother and I are on completely different planets.

Advertisements