That’s putting it nicely. She sang like an ugly bag of sawdust sporting a rainbow, but even an owner of a less-than-pretty-but-faaaaabulous hairy bag of wood shavings needs to eat, right? Where else could such kitsch find pin money? Well, in conservative evangelical kids music, of course!
And before you fundies get on your high horse, you have a “biblically-obedient” [read: the fundamentalist’s re-branded term for themselves and themselves alone.] pirate crooning about an Electra complex, so conservatives in glass houses. . . .
Big Marcy created Little Marcy. And she came straight to my 4-year-old self through my pale orange record player. As those vinyl 33 1/3s spun, I twirled around my be-ruffled canopy bed poles and sang along. Just like the Judy Miller show!
In a recent fit of sentimentality, I downloaded every Little Marcy song available online. She’s got quite a following among the lovers-of-terrible. Big Marcy’s ventriloquistic “(anti)gifts” are the only thing that could outshine her singing.
[audio:http://18.104.22.168/~drslewis/camille/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Marcy-15-Writing-All-the-Time.mp3|titles=Marcy – 15 Writing All the Time]
If you can put aside the lousy production values and listen to the content, you’ll find something even worse. This is bad. This is bad, bad stuff. It portrays a mean, capricious god who loves us only if we’re good and gives us gifts only if we deserve it.
I had a PTSD flashback just listening.
[audio:http://22.214.171.124/~drslewis/camille/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Marcy-04-Jesus-Knocks-Knocks-Knocks.mp3|titles=Marcy – 04 Jesus Knocks, Knocks, Knocks]
I still credit Little Marcy as a small goad toward my conversion. I was listening to the Bible-twisting, out-of-context, decision-theology “Jesus knocks, knocks, knocks at the door of our hearts!” when I asked my mom about the metaphor and she led me to Jesus.
Granted, in Little/Big Marcy’s world Satan was knocking too. Way to be Gnostic, Marcy!
But seriously, how did anyone think Marcy’s message was the Good News? It’s not. It’s nowhere near Good. It’s just pagan moralism. It mixes camp with anxiety, Karo syrup with cyanide, “cute” with terrible. The worst kind of terrible.
I think that’s why it sold. Because it seemed so moral. Like a mid-century American Little Red Riding Hood all designed to keep kiddies at home away from the wolves.
Now, 38 years later, I put it like this: if God can speak to me through a singing bag of moralistic sawdust and bring a sin-sick sinner to Himself, He can do anything.
Except this. This one’s unredeemable.