My seminary kids tell me that sometimes I get off on tangents while we’re studying the scriptures, and I think they may be right. For example, today we were studying the book of Revelation, which includes this verse:
14:3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song…
It made me think of a famous song whose words few men know. I did a little bit of research and was fascinated to learn:
* The song was recorded in a single take, and it went terribly. The guitarist missed his cue, the drummer dropped his drumstick halfway through the song, and the lead singer’s voice wasn’t picked up well by the microphone.
* It received a little airplay but didn’t really take off. The band decided to break up.
* A DJ discovered it and played it as “Worst Record of the Week”. Suddenly it became immensely popular, because listeners couldn’t understand the lyrics and thought maybe they were obscene.
* The rumor of obscene lyrics spread, eventually leading to an FBI investigation of the song. After months of work, the FBI concluded the words were “unintelligible at any speed”.
* Not convinced by the FBI, the state of Indiana banned the song.
* Over time, the song has become one of the most covered tunes in music history, with some 1,600 different bands recording versions of it.
* The song has its own web site.
* There’s also an international organization called LLAMAS, made up of people who are fanatic about the song.
* The state of Washington attempted to make it their official state song (but sadly the vote failed).
* It’s played during the seventh-inning stretch at every Seattle Mariners home game.
The song? 1963’s “Louie Louie”, performed by the Kingsmen.
Yeah, pretty amazing stuff. And definitely related to the book of Revelation, right?
Oh, if you were wondering, LLAMAS is the Louie Louie Advocacy and Music Appreciation Society. No, I’m not kidding.