Timothy by The Buoys (Scepter, 1971)

Way before Joe Biden and The Office put Scranton, PA on the map, The Buoys were representing that hardscrabble town with a catchy ditty about eating your pal. Mm-mm, good!

I’m not sure what’s more amazing: that Rupert Holmes started his career off by writing this tune or that it became a Top 20 hit, despite its ban from many radio stations for its content as well as the fact that they say ‘hell’. Now it’s not like they’re singing about munching on Ol Tim’s bones. But the implications are so obvious and disturbing, you know that when they get “discovered” with their stomachs suddenly “As full as they could be”, someone just ate a Timothy sandwich. Many call this one of the worst songs of the 70s. I consider it one of the best. To use a pop song to move people good or bad in under 3 minutes and be musically interesting as well is a great accomplishment.

The record company, reluctant to promote the single, changed their tune when it started getting airplay by saying that Timothy was a mule. Nothing specifically says that Timothy was a person, except for the fact that he wasn’t around to “tell the tale”. And all a mule is going to do is stare at you or kick you in the chest. I was always though that these were kids who wandered into a mine and got trapped, because Timothy sounded like a kid’s name. As an adult wouldn’t he be called Tim? Plus anyone can get trapped in a mine not just miners. And that might describe why Joe freaks out and wants to eat Timothy. That Joe is such a dick he doesn’t even offer Tim any water. How long were these guys trapped anyway? Their stomach rumbles and immediately they’re killing & eating someone?

As for the singer, he’s freaking out cause he can’t believe he’s got pieces of Tim inside his stomach. And no one “ever got around to finding Timothy”. Does that mean these two guys were licking their lips leaving the mine going Tim who? The rescuers never searched the cave? Surely these guys didn’t eat Tim’s clothes. Maybe Dwight Schrute needs to reopen this case.