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Song Details
Rank this week: 30 (↑8)
Duration: 5:15 
Release Date: 1986  (sav-man) 
Lyrics By: Ray Stevens & C.W. Kalb, Jr. (sav-man) 
Music By: Ray Stevens & C.W. Kalb, Jr. (sav-man) 
Produced By: Ray Stevens (sav-man) 
Released By: MCA Records (sav-man) 
Published By:
  • From Ray's 1987 album SURELY YOU JOUST. (sav-man)
  • Song Lyrics:
    Last summer I thought for a little diversion, I’d take my family on a camping excursion –
    We were tired of vacations with air conditioned rooms and such.

    (swimming pools, room service)

    I thought two weeks way back in the woods would do us all a whole world of good –
    Especially the kids, they don’t appreciate nature much.

    (Rather watch a TV, eat a twinkie)

    Well, my wife wasn’t sure but I said, “Look here, Honey, we’ll have a lot of fun and save a lot of money.”
    Now, right there’s where I made my first mistake, friends.

    (I figured a tent, a few cans of beans, marshmallows, what could it cost?)

    But with the sleeping bags, & the hiking shoes and all the other paraphernalia that you use –
    It came to $6,947.22!

    (But like the man said, you can use it all again)

    Well, we packed the new Land Rover with the maximum load, and drove till we run plum out of road –
    And then backpacked six hours straight up a steep incline.

    (Briars & brambles & cockleburrs)

    Then we saw the perfect site – there were trees on the left and a creek on the right – of a clearing to pitch the tent, just what we had in mind.

    (Eat your heart out, Field & Stream)

    Now, pitching the tent took four hours or so, and by then the sun was sinking low –
    And the kids were whining and crying for something to eat.

    (Whereupon my wife says, “Where’s the restroom?” I told her and she grinned and says, “Yeah, now where is it really?”)

    So we broke out the soda crackers & sardines, the Vienna sausages and the pork & beans, and sat around the fire to enjoy a well earned treat.

    (mmm good, none of that citified junk food for us)

    (Kinda reminds me of wild hickory nuts!)

    Let’s all go camping, you’ll never have it so good.
    It’s great getting back to Nature, out here in the woods
    Amongst the birds and the bees, & the flowers and the trees,
    Where the animals are our friends -
    Once you get hooked on camping, you’ll never like the city again

    Well, we just weren’t ready for what happened then –
    When sparks from the campfire carried by the wind set a pile of leaves and two $89.95 sleeping bags aflame!

    (Little Elmer was going for the marshmallows, thought it was part of the deal)

    It spread from the bags and the leaves to the trees, raging out of control and fanned by the breeze –
    I thought all was lost and then, thank God it started to rain.

    (I don’t mean showers, friends, we’re talking bare ‘em up Noah one whole time)

    Well, the fire was out, and we huddled in the tent, whoa slapped out from the day’s events – Floating on our air mattresses in mud, ankle deep.

    (Whereupon my wife says, “I really need to know now, where is the restroom?”)

    When it finally stopped raining it was cold and late, but those mysterious noises kept us awake –
    And we all knew we’d be mauled or axe murdered in our sleep.

    (At this point I knew the ghost stories earlier had been a bad idea)

    I was dozing off, just about to dream about a Holiday Inn, when a blood curdling scream – Announced the presence of something in the tent covered with hair!

    (That’s when I said, “Leap up there, son, and light the Coleman, I think there’s something in here with us.”)

    We lit the lantern and there he was, a little beady eyed fuzzy, looking at us –
    And we chased him out of the tent and ran head on into a BEAR!

    (He’d just finished off the groceries and was frothing at the mouth, we ain’t talking no Gentle Ben here, friends)

    He reared back on his haunches and he let out a growl, and we all turned white and let out a howl and went tearing through the woods in hysterics without a flashlight or a lamp!

    (It’s amazing what adrenaline will do, I mean I was a track star in High School, but my chubby little wife just flatfooted past me with a child under each arm like I was taking a Sunday stroll, yelling, “Never mind the restroom!”)

    Well, somehow we all made it to the car, and I had to crank it with a quick hot wire –
    'Cause I’d left the keys in my backpack, back at the camp.

    (Along with my shoes, wallet, my Rolex, $6947.22 worth of camping equipment)

    We went flying down that dark & muddy trail, slipping and a sliding like a bat outta hell-
    Till we drove through a stream that we’d crossed on our way in.

    (Lord knows how we missed all those trees at 90 miles per hour - sideways)

    Now the rain made it deeper than it was before, the water started pouring in around the doors and we had to swim for the shore – never saw that Land Rover again.

    (Just floated off, last I saw was the taillights going over the falls – State Farm’s ain’t never gonna believe this)

    Well, we finally stumbled into civilization – called a friend of mine from a Texaco station – and he drove out to pick us up and take us all on home.

    (Wet, cold, tired and talking to ourselves)

    They say take only pictures and leave only footprints – Well, we left 8 sleeping bags, 2 Trailmaster tents, a Coleman stove, $400 worth of groceries, a Land Rover, a Rolex and every stitch of clothing my wife ever owned.

    (Oh yeah, had to take it all with us, mink coat, makeup, electric curling iron, “You never know what you might need”, she said)

    Let’s all go camping, you’ll never have it so good.
    It’s great getting back to Nature, out here in the woods
    Amongst the birds and the bees, & the flowers and the trees,
    Where the animals are our friends -
    Once you get hooked on camping, you’ll never like the city again

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