Unless otherwise noted in the post title, these are not
reviews, per se. They are articles for people who have already seen the film or read the book in question--meaning that there will be spoilers. If you're already familiar with the material being covered, or don't mind the plot being spoiled, please read on and leave a comment.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

[Satanophobia] Mister Ed: Satan's Favorite Horse?

In the 1980s, there was a significant amount of Satanic Panic in which rock and heavy metal musicians came under fire, not only because of their outrageous appearances but also because of the hidden Satanic messages that were rumored to be backmasked on their albums.  Acts like KISS and Ozzy Osbourne were easy targets, as their stock and trade were demonic imagery used for shock and artistic effect.  But in April 1986, a far more unlikely subject was targeted.

Jim Brown and Greg Hudson, preachers from a religious group in South Point, Ohio called Psalms 150, were hosting a "Music Awareness" seminar at the First Church of the Nazarene in the town of Ironton.  Their audience, consisting mostly of local teenagers, had brought along stacks of record albums for the big bonfire that would surely follow.  They had likely anticipated that modern day rockers were going to be put to task by Brown and Hudson, but it's unlikely that they were expecting this.

Mr. Ed - Satan's Favorite Horse?

With absolutely straight faces, they announced that the latest in a long line of backmasked messages they had uncovered was found in the themesong to Mister Ed, the beloved sitcom that had entertained audiences from 1961-1966.

A horse is a horse, of course, of course, 
And no one can talk to a horse of course 
That is, of course, unless the horse 
Is the famous Mr. Ed. 

Go right to the source and ask the horse 
He'll give you the answer that you'll endorse. 
He's always on a steady course. 
Talk to Mr. Ed.

Which, when played backwards, supposedly polluted the populace with messages like "The source is Satan" and "Someone sung this song for Satan"--which, really isn't all that bad, when you think about it.  These absurd claims drummed up a bit of publicity for the Psalms 150 group...most of it negative, as newspaper columnists lambasted the evangelists for their idiocy, and the statements became more of a novelty than anything else.  
Jay Livingston, who had written the song with his partner Ray Evans, was adamant that the song was innocuous, no matter which way you played it.  He didn't fight too hard against the controversy, though, and rode out the eye-rolling fiasco in good humor.  Why?  Because for the next month, radio stations were heard playing the song both forwards and backwards for their listeners, resulting in a surprising upswing in royalties.

Silly bastards.  Everybody knows it was Francis the Talking Mule that was a tool of the devil.


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