"Brother Dave's Intro Hymn for the 'First Church of the All-Day Seeker' Radio Hour" is the full title for this song.
This piece is a 30-second ditty I wrote for my own entertainment once while fantasizing a cynical parody of some of the religious radio shows I used to hear when I was a kid.
Whenever I hear the song in my mind, it is performed by an old-fashioned gospel quartet — a capella, or with a lone church organ.
The name of my fantasy church was inspired by the "All Day Sucker" — a flat bar of caramel taffy on a paper stick. It didn't really last all day, but it did take considerably longer to consume than most other candies. It could be a sound investment for a poor kid's last nickel.
The first line of the song is an ever-so-slight wordplay on a quote generally attributed to P.T. Barnum. (I've since read that, in fact, Barnum never said, "There's a sucker born every minute." Or maybe it was that he didn't originate the phrase. I don't recall. Either way, if true, it's discomforting to have another illusion shattered, no matter how insignificant it might have been.) The fourth line is a minor alteration of a classic W.C. Fields quip, "Never give a sucker an even break." Both original quotes are yummy in tart and pithy cynicism.
Although initially written just as a momentary diversion for myself, "Brother Dave's Intro Hymn..." has been integrated into a comic strip published in 2 best-seller student texts, a glossy wall poster for classroom display, and a nationally-distributed, award-winning instructional video series. Hotcha!
"Now, Brothers and Sisters, I want you to reach out and put your hands on your radio cabinet. Come on now. Put your hands on your radio cabinet... and BE HEALED! Hallelujah!" And, "Please send your prayer request along with a $5, $10, $20 donation... Send whatever amount the Lord lays on your heart tonight... To 'The First Church of the All-Day Seeker' Radio Hour, Post Office Box 345, Knoxville, Tennessee. Again, that's 'The First Church of the All-Day Seeker' Radio Hour, Box 345, Knoxville, Tennessee. Your letter must be postmarked no later than midnight this coming Saturday night so that you may receive our beautiful leatherette-bound, special edition New Testament, with 7 brand new chapters that the Lord laid upon my heart to write for the spiritual blessing and physical healing of everyone of you seekers...."
Read the lyrics below, skip to the Lead Sheet for the words and music, or listen to a homemade MP3 song demo recording. — BD