Mississippi Squirrel Revival
|"The Mississippi Squirrel Revival"|
|Single by Ray Stevens|
|from the album He Thinks He's Ray Stevens|
|Songwriter(s)||Cyrus "Buddy" Kalb, Carlene Kalb|
|Ray Stevens singles chronology|
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.
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.
|U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles||20|
|Canadian RPM Country Tracks||32|
- Whitburn, Joel (2012). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2012. Record Research, Inc. p. 322. ISBN 978-0-89820-203-8.
- Sandy Neese (December 1, 1984). "Looney squirrel song pleases Stevens, fans". The Tennesseean. pp. 1D, 4D. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- "Stevens Nuts over 'Squirrel'". Billboard: 39, 42. December 8, 1984.