…and pay attention, because glancing through one of my old pocket notebooks last night I came across this entry from the Carter years. It is in somebody else’s handwriting, whose and why I forget. The only explanation is this footnote, dating the verses 20 years before Paul Newman sang a slightly different version of the song in “Cool Hand Luke”:
*(As sung by the Glover Family of Columbia, Mo. on station WWVA’s “Hour of Reckoning” show — 5:35 a.m., July 12, 1957.)
OH, I don’t care if it rains or freezes
Long as I got my plastic Jesus
Settin’ on the dashboard of my car.
You can buy him, pink and pleasant,
Glows in the dark, he’s phosphorescent,
Take him with you when you travel far.
You can buy a sweet madonna,
Dressed in rhinestones, standin’ on a
Pedestal of abalone shell—
Drivin’ 90 I’m not wary,
Long as I got Magnetic Mary
Guaranteein’ I won’t go to Hell.