238. “Hey, Reuben Hill, you still walk the fertile fields of my mind.”

The episode:Appreciating Your Parents,” the second short in front of “The Unearthly,” ep. 320

The riff: Addressed to the screen by Servo as the name of “educational collaborator” Reuben Hill is shown.

The explanation: Tom is referring to a song from the early career of country icon Kenny Rogers, back when he was leading a band called The First Edition. The song, “Reuben James,” is about a black sharecropper who is unfairly targeted for abuse in his small town, and was a modest hit in 1969. Tom actually misquotes the lyrics though, because as written, it’s “walk the furrowed fields of my mind.”

Novelty factor: I’ve never heard the song before now.


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