I learned something new this morning. Actually, I’ve probably learned all sorts of new things since arriving in New Orleans, but I’ll limit myself to just this one. You may be familiar with the song “Lions,” aka “The Slinky Song.” By now, it’s a pretty standard camp song that everyone who goes to a church summer camp will sing at some point in their lives. (If you’re not familiar with it, then you can thank me for providing this link to a Youtube clip.)
But like me, you may also have wondered all your lives: Why on earth do we yell, “Slinky!” in the middle of it? Let’s face it, that song has nothing to do with Slinkys. The theme is lions. Lions and eating and no way, baby sung in the lowest possible octave you can muster. And like me, this pressing question may have kept you awake through the long, dark watches of the night, gnawing at the edges of your mind.
Well, no more.
For today, the mystery is revealed to you. (Here’s the part where I started learning things this morning.) This particular camp song was written, I’ve discovered, by none other than Lost and Found–the very same group that, a few blog updates ago, I described having just heard for the first time. And Lost and Found wrote “Lions,” and they saw that it was good. But they thought that it might be better with a nifty sound effect thrown into the chorus, and they decided to put in the sound of a Slinky expanding and contracting: “They can eat my body, but they can’t *Slinky noise* swallow my soul, no, no, no…”
And so they began to do this at live shows, and people saw that it looked fun. So the Lost and Found fans began to bring their own Slinkys so they could slink along with the song. And Lost and Found saw that it was good. So instead of slinking their own Slinkys on stage–and here’s where the history gets made–they began to just call out “Slinky!” at the appropriate time, and everyone would slink their hearts out.
And as this song made its way to church camps everywhere, they kept the “Slinky!” call. But campers don’t often bring Slinkys to camp, so an entire generation has been trained to yell about Slinkys without knowing why.
But now, as Paul Harvey would say, you know…the rest of the story. Good day!