Don’t mess with Barney or his song

Published 10:26 am Wednesday, May 15, 2024

By Les Ferguson Jr.

Purple is not my color. I don’t think I’ve ever owned any clothes with purple, not even a tie. I may have had a Minnesota Vikings belt buckle back when Archie Manning played for them.

No shade thrown on those of you who are into purple; it’s just not my style. My deceased son wasn’t into purple either, at least when it came to clothes. But Barney the Purple Dinosaur was in a category all his own.

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Cole died a month shy of his twenty-second birthday. Still, he was an all-things Barney fan. Bless his heart, his cerebral palsy kept him more childlike than not. He loved Barney until the day he died.

Let me tell you, you didn’t mess with Barney. Cole brooked no smack talk or disrespectful language about Barney. Speaking ill of the purple guy was equivalent to talking about somebody’s mama. I come from a long line of agitators and pickers. I knew exactly how to get Cole riled up. In my mind, I still hear him calling his mom to rescue him from my Barney smack talk.

And, of course, you should know it was all done in fun as a dad tried to engage his boy.

Yes, you didn’t mess with Barney.

I’ve been thinking about the purple waddler recently. I have some happy memories where he is concerned. All these years later, I find myself enamored with the Barney song. It’s ok if you sing it as you read the words:

“I love you. You love me. We’re a happy family. With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you, won’t you say you love me too?”

Admittedly, back in the day, the song, with its simple tune, could grate on my nerves as Cole played it repeatedly, ad nauseam, in our home. But after all these years, I recognize more fully the simple beauty and truth of unqualified love in Barney’s song.

Long ago, the Beatles sang, “All you need is love.” A couple thousand years before that, Jesus was quite clear about the role of love in our lives: This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13 CSB)

In a world of anger, hate, racial discord, and recriminating politics, listen to Jesus, sing the Barney Song, and love others regardless of circumstances and situations.

Love truly is the not-so-secret sauce that can change our world.

“Won’t you say you love me too?”