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Classic Rock & Cheap Wine: A Three Dog Night Without ‘Joy to the World’ After a Trip to the Police Station

Our aging baby boomer recalls a 1972 high school prank with her girlfriends singing 'Joy to the World' in a 'stolen' Cadillac, until the joy suddenly stopped.

by
Myra Adams

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October 6, 2012 - 10:00 am
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What is it about the power of a song that upon hearing it decades later instantly brings you back to a memorable moment in your life?

That song for me is Joy to the World by Three Dog Night evoking a 1972 high school incident involving three girlfriends, a “stolen” Cadillac and a trip to the police station.

So now that I have your attention….

As a1 6-year-old high-school junior I found myself secretly “in love” with my close friend and neighbor, a handsome senior, who lived across the street. Dan (not his real name) and I had grown up together, but now as a blossoming teenager I saw him differently and fantasized that he was destined to be my future husband.

Dan had absolutely no romantic interest in me but started “going out” with my girlfriend Donna (not real name). That meant I was thrust into the position of gossip go-between, a position I relished.

Not too long after Dan and Donna became an item, Dan’s father bought a new Cadillac and handed Dan the keys to his old one.

Keep in mind that in 1972 it was rare for anyone in my high school to have their own car, especially a Cadillac. Therefore, Dan’s Cadillac, (which by today’s standards was the size of a gunboat) became a major status symbol and the ultimate party vehicle.

One day after school my three girlfriends and I started walking toward the town center when we spotted Dan’s Cadillac in the school parking lot. It was then Donna proudly proclaimed, “I have Dan’s keys,” so without any hesitation, we all jumped in the car for a harmless spin.

On the radio Joy to the World was playing and I remember us singing the famous lyrics: Jeremiah was a bull frog, was a good friend of mine, and the Joy to the World chorus at the top of our lungs while having a totally terrific time.

That was until we were stopped by the police.

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