“May I have your attention?” a woman’s voice called from the aluminum speaker above the volleyball court. “Supper will be served at the lodge in fifteen minutes. Don’t be late or there won’t be nothing left of it.” There were several of these speakers scattered around my old nudist camp, useful for beckoning guests to meals in the lodge, softball games on the meadow, or dances in the pavilion.
In between announcements, the owner liked to place the microphone in front of his CD player and broadcast a mixture of Native American and new age music across the hills and hollows of the sprawling campground. I rather enjoyed the melancholy ambience of the crackling music on late summer afternoons, but I noticed that some anxious newcomers emerging from their automobiles at the front office were startled by the mysterious drumming and chanting that echoed from the shadowy woods. “What the hell is that?” an alarmed guest whispered to her husband when they arrived one evening to claim a cabin. “A séance?”
It was kind of magical to be out in the woods, surrounded by music, but if I ever fulfil my dream of owning my own nudist camp, I think I’ll choose a playlist more specifically tailored to nudists. I’ve got it all planned out.
As the sun rises over my camp each morning, I’ll signal the start of the day’s festivities by ironically playing Jermaine Stewart’s 1986 hit, “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off,” or one of my favorite novelty songs, “Please Don’t Go Topless Mother.” Recorded by a seven-year-old Troy Hess in 1973, the song documents the shame experienced by a young fellow because his mother is a topless dancer. Though teased by his classmates, the boy pretends to not care, telling his mother that she’s “not the only one putting up a front.” Get it?
Each time the thunder of an impending afternoon shower sends nudists scurrying for cover, I’ll blast Loretta Lynn’s “Naked in the Rain.” You have to give Loretta credit for having some of the best song titles in country music, including “Pregnant Again,” “Fist City” and my favorite, “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly.”
The AANR Skinny-Dip is coming up July 11, and if I own a camp by then, I’ll set the mood with some of my favorite skinny-dipping songs, including Ramona Brooks’ “Skinnydippin’,” and Mayf Nutter’s wonderfully goofy and upbeat “Goin’ Skinny Dippin’.” When Mayf hollers, “Everybody take off your clothes, hold your nose and jump in the water!” our happy nudists will eagerly oblige. Can we please designate this as the nudist summer anthem of 2015? It’s such a good song.
Some of the most well-attended nudist events are the 5K marathons, and I’ll keep my runners energized with a selection of classic streaking songs from 1974. This was the year the streaking fad took off, so there are many to choose from, including The Ohio Players’ “Streaking Cheek to Cheek,” and The Four Guys’ “Streakin’ With My Baby.” Even “Jessie’s Girl” singer Rick Springfield recorded a streaking ballad called “Streaking the Australian Way,” but the definitive streaking song of 1974 has to be “Superstreaker” by Flesh Gordon and the Nude Hollywood Argyles.
Maybe I’ll kick off the Saturday night dance by playing Lee Morse and Her Bluegrass Boys’ “T'ain't No Sin to Take Off Your Skin and Dance Around in Your Bones,” Followed by John Mellencamp’s “Dance Naked.” Of course, I’ll have to play Shel Silverstein’s “Show it at the Beach,” in which Shel complains that society seems more willing to tolerate a trenchcoat-wearing flasher than a harmless nude beach aficionado. Other possibilities include Adam Ant’s 1983 chart-topper, “Strip” and Harry Gibson’s 1986 ballad, “Keep Venice Nude.” I might even play Bobby Darin’s classic, “Splish Splash,” a song that outraged some listeners back in 1958 by implying the singer joins a party wearing only a bath towel. He eventually puts his dancing shoes on, but what about his pants?
Well, that’s my nudist camp playlist, the songs that will fill the air of my rustic, backwoods retreat, if I am fortunate enough to win the Powerball and build my own little Garden of Eden.
Or maybe I’ll just let my guests enjoy the sounds of nature. I suppose that’s another option.