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Music Friday: Marty Raybon Tells the Story of a Young Couple’s ‘Cracker Jack Diamond’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, country music artist Marty Raybon tells the story of how a trivial prize in a box of caramel corn became a powerful symbol of a couple’s eternal love.

In “Cracker Jack Diamond,” Raybon describes a summer scene in a rural town, where a 14-year-old boy is trying to earn a few bucks by mowing lawns. The young man happens upon a property where the weeds are tall, and on the porch is a young girl eating ice cream. Instantly smitten, the young man digs into the pocket of his grass-stained jeans and pulls out some week-old caramel corn and a plastic ring. He places the ring on her finger and she is delighted.

Raybon sings, “Just like a Cracker Jack Diamond / You never know when your gonna find one / They found love from that day on / The hand of fate put them together / Their hearts will stay forever young / Like a Cracker Jack Diamond.”

Five years later, the young man — now 19 years old — has saved up enough money to pay for the preacher and a diamond ring. He takes his girlfriend to the same porch where they met and she accepts his marriage proposal.

Later in the song, the couple is now elderly, but the woman still has a fondness for the Cracker Jack Diamond.

Raybon sings, “Once a year she takes it out but it don’t fit her hand / She wears it in her heart / That’s where it all began.”

(For more than a century, Cracker Jack fans, young and old, have been excited to find the prize buried in their box of caramel corn. Over time, these prizes have included plastic figurines, booklets, stickers, temporary tattoos and… rings.)

“Cracker Jack Diamond” was released in 2000 and appeared on the artist’s solo album titled, Marty Raybon (2000). The song reached #63 on U.S. Billboard Country chart.

Raybon is best known as the frontman and lead singer for the country band Shenandoah, which he founded in Muscle Shoals, Ala., in 1984. In 1997, he left the band to pursue a solo career, but rejoined the band 2014. Raybon, now 60, continues to tour actively. The band will be making appearances in Nashville, Tenn.; Milwaukee, Wisc.; Vero Beach, Fla.; Annapolis, Md.; Granger, Texas; Greenville, Texas; Indio, Calif.; Dunlap, Tenn.; Fort Myers, Fla.; and Fulton, Mo.

Billed as Shenandoah Featuring Marty Raybon, the band has released nine studio albums and charted 26 singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

Trivia: Cracker Jack was introduced in 1896 with the slogan, “The More You Eat The More You Want.”

Please check out the video of Raybon’s performance of “Cracker Jack Diamond.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Cracker Jack Diamond”
Written by Ronny Scaife and Neil Thrasher. Performed by Marty Raybon.

Well he spent that summer walkin’ door to door
With a can of gas and an ol’ lawn mower
That’s a sure fire way to make a buck when you’re 14

Well he walked the block with no luck at all
Then he spotted a place where the weeds were tall
With a young girl sitting on the front porch eating’ ice cream

Deep in the pocket of his grass stained jeans
Was some caramel corn and a plastic ring
Leftover from the week before
Momma didn’t wash them thank the lord

Just like a Cracker Jack Diamond,
You never know when your gonna find one
They found love from that day on
The hand of fate put them together,
Their hearts will stay forever young
Like a Cracker Jack Diamond

Well it’s been five years since he gave her his prize
Now the sparkle’s gone, but not in their eyes
And he’s wanting to tell her what’s been on his mind lately

He said, girl I ain’t rich but I’ve been saving up
A little ever day ’til I had enough
Before he could finished she said, you know I will baby

Deep in the pocket of his holey jeans
Was money for the preacher and a diamond ring
He took her back to that old front porch
Slipped it on her finger and he thanked the Lord

Just like a Cracker Jack Diamond,
You never know when your gonna find one
They found love from that day on
The hand of fate put them together,
Their hearts will stay forever young
Like a Cracker Jack Diamond

Once a year she takes it out but it don’t fit her hand
She wears it in her heart
That’s where it all began

Just like a Cracker Jack Diamond,
You never know when your gonna find one
They found love from that day on
The hand of fate put them together,
Their hearts will stay forever young
Like a Cracker Jack Diamond…

Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.

Cahill Pribyl