Monday, August 4, 2008

Pop Culture and Freemasonry: Ray Stevens



Ray Stevens originally produced "The Shriners' Convention" in 1999 1979. According to Wikipedia, Stevens wrote the song after being in a motel during a Shriners' convention. The song involves the belief that although Shriners are to act as upright "pillars of the community", the wild times that Shriners appear to enjoy is completely opposite that concept. In the song, the Potentate named Bubba is on the phone with Coy, the life of the party, who continually admonishes Coy's behavior at the convention. The song is an obvious lampoon of the Shriners' love of fun.

The major reason for the Shrine's existence is to balance the solemnity that occurs in a Lodge with the convival nature of a Fraternity. During the 1870's, many Lodges became dry and the temperance movement began to become a major factor in American life. Many Lodges became obsessed with ritual to the loss of brotherhood. Shriners represented the joie de vivre that some Masons felt the Fraternity was lacking. Today, the spirit of fun still exists in the Shrine with Shrine Circuses, Shrine Parades and other activities still being held to this day.

Shrine Conventions can have as many as 20,000 conventioneers showing up to the host city which boosts the local economy. Shriners are also, most importantly, the administrators of 22 hospitals for children free of charge. The Shriners have fun for a reason and this song shows their bonhomie. Even in the mocking nature of the song, the Shrine still is represented as having a sense of humor. Hey, at least they aren't the Hell's Angels.

If you would like to see the lyrics, please visit the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon's website.


Stevens, Ray. "Shriners’ Convention."Greatest Hits [MCA] 1999. Video used for Illustration Purposes Only.

3 comments:

The Plumbline said...

Nice. It's been a while since I've heard that one.

jrryallen5 said...

a slight correction...Ray wrote and recorded the song not in 1999 but actually in 1979 and it became a hit in 1980 and an album of the same name soon hit on the RCA label. Ray re-recorded the song in 1995 and made a music video of it, which is what you included in your blog. the music video comes from his direct-to-video movie called "Get Serious".

Anonymous said...

Masonry is symbolic Jesus is Lord