“Aimee McPherson”

Alternate titles: “Aimee Semple McPherson”; “The Ballad of Aimee McPherson”
Author: Words: Unknown/Music: Cab Calloway
Earliest date: 1961 (recording, Pete Seeger)
Keywords: sex abduction bawdy humorous clergy
Found in: US

Description

Aimee McPherson, radio evangelist, vanishes after a camp meeting; later claiming she was kidnapped. A grand jury investigation uncovers a "love-nest" at Carmel-by-the-Sea. She's jailed and bailed out; her paramour vanishes.

Long description

Aimee McPherson, radio evangelist, vanishes after a camp meeting; upon returning, she claims she was kidnapped. A grand jury investigation uncovers a "love-nest" at Carmel-by-the-Sea, where "the dents in the mattress fitted Aimee's caboose." She's jailed and bailed out; her paramour vanishes. Last lines: "If you don't get the moral then you're the gal for me/'Cause there's still a lot of cottages down at Carmel-by-the-Sea"

Notes

The song tells the story pretty accurately. - PJS

Aimee Semple MacPherson (1890-1944) was truly larger than life. Born Aimee Kennedy, she married Robert Semple in 1908; he died in China on missionary work in 1910. In 1912 she married Harold MacPherson, whom she divorced in 1921. In 1918, she founded the Foursquare Gospel church (a Pentecostal sect which still exists, though it's not overly large). 1926 saw her disappearance. A third marriage failed in 1931. She died in 1944, of a heart attack or drug overdose. - RBW

Historical references

Cross references

Recordings

References

  1. Silber-FSWB, p. 189, "Aimee McPherson" (1 text)
  2. DT, AIMEEMC*
  3. Roud #10296
  4. BI, FSWB189A