Mississippi Squirrel Revival

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"The Mississippi Squirrel Revival"
Mississippi Squirrel Revival - Ray Stevens.jpg
Single by Ray Stevens
from the album He Thinks He's Ray Stevens
B-side"Ned Nostril"[1]
ReleasedDecember 1984 (1984-12)
Format7" single
GenreCountry, novelty
Length3:45
LabelMCA
Songwriter(s)Cyrus "Buddy" Kalb, Carlene Kalb[1]
Producer(s)Ray Stevens
Ray Stevens singles chronology
"I'm Kissin' You Goodbye"
(1984)
"The Mississippi Squirrel Revival"
(1984)
"It's Me Again, Margaret"
(1985)

"The Mississippi Squirrel Revival" is a song by American country music singer Ray Stevens. It is a single from his 1984 album He Thinks He's Ray Stevens.

Content[edit]

A young boy visiting relatives in Pascagoula, Mississippi catches a wild squirrel, which he sneaks into the First Self-Righteous Church during a Sunday service; when the squirrel escapes his box, it heads into the overalls of one of the other parishioners, who jumps in shock and discomfort (thinking "he had a Weed Eater loose in his Fruit of the Looms"). The rest of the congregation believe he has been possessed, either by a demon or the Holy Spirit. In the front pew, a holier-than-thou parishioner who watched the previous incident "with sadistic glee" panics when the squirrel runs into her dress. In terror, she begins confessing all of her sins, including "naming names" of paramours that bring embarrassment to the whole church. Following the ordeal, the church experiences a sudden renewal and a wave of baptisms, rededications, increased tithes and volunteers to go on foreign missions; the now-adult singer reflects on the incident as an example of one of God's miracles.[2]

History[edit]

Originally, the song was not intended to be a single, but it was rush-released due to three stations playing it. Stevens felt that its release would help re-establish him as a novelty artist after several albums mostly composed of serious material. Stevens felt that novelty music was experiencing a revival in the mid-1980s after a period in the early 1980s where it was not as popular.[3]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1984-85) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles[1] 20
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 32

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (2012). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2012. Record Research, Inc. p. 322. ISBN 978-0-89820-203-8.
  2. ^ Sandy Neese (December 1, 1984). "Looney squirrel song pleases Stevens, fans". The Tennesseean. pp. 1D, 4D. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  3. ^ "Stevens Nuts over 'Squirrel'". Billboard: 39, 42. December 8, 1984.