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Shriners Convention

© 1980 by Ray Stevens

originally released as track A1 of his Shriners Convention album [currently out of print], the song is available on most of Mr. Stevens’ anthology albums, including 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Ray Stevens.

Yeah, they come down Main Street, drums a-flailing and the sirens a-wailing. What a roar.

Bands are playing, and flags are waving, and the vanguard's a motorcycle corps.

Clowns are a-clowning to the crowd and pinching every pretty girl who dares to smile.

It's a glorious mess; everybody wears a fez; the parade stretches out for a mile.

It's a typical American phenomenon where all the members have a fine old time.

It's the forty-third annual convention of the Grand Mystic Royal Order of the Nobles of the Ali Baba Temple of the Shrine.

Meanwhile, back at the motel:

“Hello, Operator, give me room 321, please. Thank you. Hello, Noble Lumpkin? This here is the Illustrious Potentate. I said it's the Illustrious Potentate. The Illustrious – Coy! Dadblame it! This Bubba! Coy, why wusn’t you at the parade? What? Well, how'd you get that big Harley up there in your room? What? I can't hear ya’ Coy! Quit revving it up, son! Turn it off! Listen I just want you to know one thing. You have embarrassed us all, the whole Hahira delegation! Now, I'll see you at the banquet tonight, son. And you be there Coy, you hear me? Black tie! Seven o'clock! Be there! And Coy, don't answer the phone, ‘Udden udden!’ Mercy.”

Well, it was all arranged by the Ladies’ Auxiliary in the downtown convention hall.

Cold roast beef, string beans, mashed potatoes and nine boring speeches in all;

and all the tables looked fine with their Magen David wine, and chrysanthemums on each side;

and the Hahira leaders in their rented tuxedos made the local hearts swell with pride.

It's a typical American phenomenon where all the members have a fine old time.

It's the forty-third annual convention of the Grand Mystic Royal Order of the Nobles of the Ali Baba Temple of the Shrine

Meanwhile, back at the motel:

"Operator, 321, please. Thank you. Hello, Coy? What are you doing? What do you mean, ‘who is this!’ This is Bubba? Why wasn't you at the banquet? What do you mean all you had to wear was a Hawai’ian flowery shirt? Well, you may think you're fooling some people, but I know what's going on. Yeah, Everybody seen the little redhead. That's right, everybody! Why she come running right through the dinner, right in the middle of the pineapple sherbet. Didn't have nothing on but your fez, Coy! Coy, you the only one's got a fez with a propeller on top! Yeah, yeah and she was a yelling out the secret code, too, Coy. Dad blame it we gonna have to change it now, Coy! We gonna have to have a special meeting; we get back to Hahira, about your conduct at this here convention. Embarrassing! Now Coy, you be at the secret conclave tonight! You hear me? And Coy, keep it a secret! Hah!"

Well, it was a secret meeting in the dead of the night with mysterious sanctimony,

in accordance with prescribed rituals of time honoured ceremony.

Matters of grave concern were weighed with dedicated caution,

like whether or not to raise at stud, or draw, or spit in the ocean.

It's a typical American phenomenon where all the members have a fine old time.

It's the forty-third annual convention of the Grand Mystic Royal Order of the Nobles of the Ali Baba Temple of the Shrine.

Meanwhile, back at the motel:

“Operator, room three-twenty… How'd you know? Oh! Hello! Coy? Where have you been? No, you wasn't at the meeting! Well, I found out that at three o'clock this morning, you was out there in your Fruit of the Looms in the motel swimming pool with a bunch of them waitresses from the cocktail lounge! I just hope your mama don't find out about this, Coy! What? Well, how'd you get that big motorcycle up there on the high dive, Coy? Now Coy, dad blame it, that ain't no way to act. We supposed to be pillars of the community. When we get back to Hahira you can just turn in your ring and your tie tack cause Coy, ha, ha, you are out of the Shrine! You gonna be blackballed, boy! That's right! You might even have to pack your bags and leave town! What do you mean, you might join the Hell's Angels? Coy! Don't you hang up on me! Hello, hello … Don't you crank that motorcycle! Who's that giggling in the background, Coy? Hello, hello operator! Yeah, we's cut off! Room 321. Dad blame it Coy! You don't hang up on the Illustrious Potentate! I said the Illustrious Potentate! This is Bubba! Bubba! Coy! Ahhhhhh.”

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This site was last updated 03/08/13