A couple of weeks ago, the air conditioning wasn’t working at Calvary on Wednesday night. There were several fans set up in the Rock and one was, you guessed it, a 12-inch (maybe bigger) 3-speed oscillating fan that oscillated and blew my notes all over the place. My filter wasn’t on, and I began singing the chorus to this song. One of the youth workers wanted the words to this awesome song, so here it goes!
I don’t know about where you grew up, but I grew up in the Ozarks and I resonate with the words of this song on so many levels! First, my grandma had a little 12-inch, 3-speed oscillating fan that sat on the floor in her living room. And second, my grandma called the couch in the living room a “divan” (that’s definitely a word that “the kids these days” aren’t using on a regular basis!) Finally, the song talks about the family gathering all of the time and brings back such great memories of going to Cabool, MO for family reunions, holidays, etc. It was always this bizarre mixture of hillbillies and “city folk” at our family gatherings. I wouldn’t trade that upbringing for anything. Such great memories of small town America.
I went to Kickapoo High School with many of the guys in Big Smith. I remember that Mark Bilyeu was a senior when I was a freshman. He used to sit in the hallway between the choir and band rooms with several of his friends and play piano, guitar, and banjo before school. There were definitely some amazing concerts around that place “back in the day!” Mark’s mom was my choir director. The whole family is extremely talented, that is for sure! Check out the 2005 documentary film called “Homemade Hillbilly Jam” all about their family and musical roots.
As promised, here are the lyrics…followed by a YouTube performance from “back in the day.”
12″ Inch 3 Speed Oscillating Fan
I’ve got a 12 inch 3 speed oscillating fan
Sittin’ on the floor in front of the divan
It’s been there ever since this heat wave began
Our 12 inch 3 speed oscillating fan
I’m just sittin’ on the couch with my cousins and my brother
As the fan blows the breeze from one side to the other
Coolin’ of the living rooms throughout this troubled land
It’s the 12 inch 3 speed oscillating fan
It just takes a lot of air and it moves across the room
It doesn’t do us any good ’cause it’s so hot and so humid
Our air conditioner’s broke so we do the best we can
With our 12 inch 3 speed oscillating fan
Lead Vocal: Jody, Mike
Fiddle: Scott Young
The Gene Pool Chorus: Mark, Jody, Rik, Jay, Mike; cousins Bill Thomas, Kirk and Scott Young. That’s eight cousins, four sets of brothers!