Home / birthdays / Worst American Birthdays, vol. 20

Worst American Birthdays, vol. 20

Comments
/
/
/
691 Views

Toby Keith Covel, country music artist and open-throated jingo, turned 46 today.

Born halfway through the first year of John F. Kennedy’s truncated presidency, Covel would not have been alive to hear his president’s inaugural summons to “ask what you can do for your country.” By the time he reached his manhood, however, the future country music superstar knew how to heed the call of history. By the early 1980s, Islamic militants — whose obliteration he would later celebrate in song — had wrested control of Iran and had begun to rise up against Soviet hegemony in central Asia. As the Cold War returned to levels of tension last seen when he was a young boy, Toby Keith Covel might have wondered if joining the armed forces might set him on a suitably adventurous and patriotic course. He had, after all, lost his job as a derrick worker in 1982 when the oil industry in his home state of Oklahoma went toe-up. With so much freedom and ass-bootings to be administered, the budding musician must have spent many a lonely, moonlit night, strumming his guitar plaintively, staring at the empty sky and dreaming of glories to be won on the field of battle.

Instead, Tony Keith Covel bravely followed his other dream, which was to serve in the United States Football League. Deferring his military heroism for another day, Covel tried out for the soon-to-be-Arizona-bound Oklahoma Outlaws. Cut by the team because he was too light and too not good, Covel — who would eventually drop his last name for the purposes of show business — married his high school sweetheart, became a father, and embarked on the long, difficult road to musical stardom. But he never forgot about the flag, or about flying eagles and Uncle Sam and the need for America to kick butt. And when 11 September 2001 arrived, Toby Keith was ready and willing to sing about doing whatever needed to be done.

Most Americans today know Toby Keith by way of his bloodthirsty anthem, “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” but few are aware of Keith’s impressive literary imagination, particularly his ability to imagine how the world looks from the vantage point of cowboys, truck drivers, women fleeing bad marriages, and the Messiah. Keith’s knowledge of matters Biblical, in fact, is best displayed in one of his lesser ungrammatical masterworks, “If I Was Jesus.”

If I Was Jesus, I’d have some real long hair
A robe and some sandals, is exactly what I’d wear
I’d be the guy at the party, turnin’ water to wine
Yeah me and my disciples, we’d have a real good time.

Ooh and I’d lay my life down for you (woooooh)
And I show you who’s the boss (woooooh)
I’d forgive you and adore you
While I was hangin’ on your cross
If I Was Jesus.

I’d have some friends that were poor
I’d run around with the wrong crowd, man I’d never be bored
Then I’d heal me a blind man, get myself crucified
By politicians and preachers, who got somethin’ to hide.

Ooh and I’d lay my life down for you (woooooh)
And I show you who’s the boss (woooooh)
I’d forgive you and adore you
While I was hangin’ on your cross
If I Was Jesus.

If I Was Jesus, I’d come back from the dead
And I’d walk on some water, just to mess with your head
I know your dark little secrets, I’d look you right in the face
And I’d tell you I love you, with Amazing Grace.

Ooh and I’d lay my life down for you (woooooh)
And I show you who’s the boss (woooooh)
I’d forgive you and adore you
While I was hangin’ on your cross
If I Was Jesus.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
It is main inner container footer text