Fact checking of history

It’s important to beware of the unreliable narrator when reading history.

1974 - Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting by Carl Douglas

"Everybody was kung fu fighting"

Strictly speaking, not true.  In many Presbyterian congregations, large proportions of people did not participate in the kung fu fighting. 

1977 - Car Wash by Rose Royce

"You might not ever get rich
But let me tell ya it's better than diggin' a ditch
There ain't no tellin' who you might meet
A movie star or maybe even an Indian chief"


Working at the car wash was, in fact, better than digging a ditch.  The likelihood of meeting a movie star or Indian chief varied by location, however. 

1976 - Disco Inferno by The Trammps

"To my surprise, one hundred stories high
People getting loose y'all, getting down on the roof”

This was true.

"Folks are screaming, out of control
It was so entertaining when the boogie started to explode”

Also correct. 

"I heard somebody say
(Burn baby burn) disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down
(Burn baby burn) disco inferno
(Burn baby burn) burn that mother down”

I heard someone say the same thing verbatim.

"Satisfaction came in a chain reaction
(Burnin')
I couldn't get enough, so I had to self-destruct”

Here is where things might deviate from the historical record.  There was no doubt that satisfaction came in a chain reaction.  Nevertheless, to claim that self-destruction was inevitable simply because one could not get enough is paradoxical (where did the author go?) and could cause one to question the veracity of the entire account up to that point.