Saturday 9: Sixteen Tons

Saturday 9: Sixteen Tons (1955)

Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here

1) 16 tons = 32,000 pounds, because there are 2,000 lbs. to a ton. Without looking it up, do you know how many ounces are in a pound? Nope!

2) The singer describes himself as having “a mind that’s weak and a back that’s strong.” Think about yourself. Which feels more powerful today, your body or your brain? My brain, which usually feels stronger. I’m not athletic or particularly fit, and when I do make an effort to be, my body is literally painfully aware of the fact that it’s not used to it. But I’m glad that after a two-mile walk yesterday, I feel fine as opposed to sore and tired.

3) The poor chap in this song has money troubles. Are you good at sticking to your budget? I don’t have a set budget, but I’m pretty good at not buying myself a bunch of shit and saving money or paying bills instead.

4) Tennessee Ernie Ford snapped his fingers as he recorded this song. It’s been said that while it’s possible to snap your fingers of both hands, the noise is louder with your “dominant hand.” (So if you’re a rightie, the finger snap will be louder with your right hand.) Try it yourself. Did you find this to be true? Yes, but it’s only slightly louder.

5) Mr. Ford appeared as “Cousin Ernie” in three episodes of I Love Lucy. What’s your all-time favorite sitcom? I don’t know! I tend not to like them much. Does Bob’s Burgers count, though?

6) Tennessee Ernie took the money he made from his performing career and invested in a California cattle ranch. Think back to the last beef your ate. How was it prepared? I’m a vegetarian, so it’s been I think 12 years–this month, actually–since I last ate beef. But probably a burger.

7) Mr. Ford passed away at age 72 in 1991. That year, Dr. Seuss also died. What’s your favorite Dr. Seuss book? I don’t have one! I never really liked his books as a kid.

8) Gene Roddenberry also died that year. Mr. Roddenberry is best known as the creator of Star Trek. Who is your favorite Star Trek character? Jean-Luc Picard, but mostly only because I love Patrick Stewart and I used to watch Next Generation as a kid with my dad. Although now that I think about it, I also remember really liking Data.

9) Random question: We’re having smoothies. What’s your favorite? Anything fruity, really. I tend to go toward strawberry the most, I think.


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