Nitty Gritty Rocky Top Conspiracy

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t believe that the government had removed an anti-government show from everyone’s TiVo, but in the past, I had a similar experience myself …

Some entity remotely edited one of the MP3 files on my PC to remove an anti-government lyric!

In 2008, I listened to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s version of the long time bluegrass favorite, Rocky Top, at least 50 times. It was my favorite song in 2008, and my favorite verse was this:

Once two strangers climbed ole Rocky Top,
Lookin’ for a moonshine still.
Strangers ain’t come down from Rocky Top,
Guess they never will.

Then I listened to my playlist again for the first time in 3 months while I was working on my computer, and I replayed Rocky Top for a total of exactly 4 times because I kept missing my favorite verse in my favorite song.

Or so I thought.

I replayed Rocky Top, and listened without distraction a 5th time.

My favorite verse … in my favorite song … had been removed!

The vocals and instrumentals were identical. There was nothing unusual about the point where my favorite verse would have been. The edit was seamless. The file dates revealed no tampering.

I had already overwritten all of my backups by this time, so I went online and tried to find any copy of Rocky Top by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band that contained the censored verse, but I could find neither a commercial copy nor a bootleg copy that contained the verse.

I sent a furious email to the management of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band at the time, but got no response.

I immediately found nine web pages with the lyrics for Rocky Top, and they ALL contained my favorite verse. Then, a few months later, the verse had been removed from ALL of those web pages too! For about a year, it was very difficult to find the verse in any online lyrics, but then I started finding it again.

I searched for comments online explaining how the same thing had happened to others, but I found nothing.

I don’t think that removing this verse was the goal of this entity. I think this was just a test, but not the kind of test you think. You see, I explained this at the time to my Russian friend and coworker (let’s call him Nikita), who knew me very well, and he didn’t believe me.

Nikita said the verse must have never been there! What’s more, he knew that I had been a PC software developer for over 20 years, and yet he expressed doubt that I knew how to look at the dates on a file! So, I think what this had actually been was

a test of how easily this entity could change history,

and I’d say they were pleased with the results based on the mental gymnastics the Nikitas of the world are willing to perform to maintain their normalcy bias.