I carried the first few lines of these lyrics around for years until I realized what and who they were about. And then, thanks to personifications of the topic abundant in all walks of life, it was pretty easy to finish the song (which also owes a certain stylistic debt to the Blue Sky Boys). “Mr. Special” will never be a Billboard No. 1, but the folks portrayed here are tops in their own personal rankings, so all’s well. Performed here by Day for Night in rehearsal, Sept. 9, 2022.
Hear “Mr. Special” below! Buy it on Bandcamp! (“Mr. Special” copyright © 2021 by Douglas L. Hubley. All rights reserved. Day for Night: Doug Hubley, mandolin and vocal. Gretchen Schaefer, guitar and vocal. At top: Sen. Joseph McCarthy in a detail from a photograph by Thomas J. O’Halloran — U.S. News & World Report photograph collection, Library of Congress. At bottom: Doug and Gretchen, 2013.)