A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 14, 2019
“Get off the cross, we need the wood”

"Get off the cross, we need the wood” is a reference to Jesus and Christianity. The saying means that someone is not Jesus and is not here to be a savior, so that person should stop trying. “We need the wood” (the wood of the cross) is another added insult to this person.

Authorship of the saying is unknown. “But to those who choose to bleed before they see an open wound, please get off the cross. We need the wood” was printed in The Daily News (Longview, WA) on May 31, 1989. “In spite of one or two vintage joshing gags — ‘You never know when you look at a frog whether it’s the same one you just saw or a different one’, ‘Come down off the cross, we need the wood’” was printed in The Observer (London, UK) on November 3, 1991, in a review of the play The Ride Down Mt. Morgan by Arthur Miller.

The saying was popularized in the movie Straight Talk (1992), when Dolly Parton, playing ‘Dr.’ Shirlee Kenyon, said:

“Get down off the cross, honey. Somebody needs the wood.”


Newspapers.com
31 May 1989, The Daily News (Longview, WA). “Letters to the Editor: Interest is appropriate,” pg. A4, col. 4:
I applaud the intentions of those who champion against discrimination. But to those who choose to bleed before they see an open wound, please get off the cross. We need the wood.
Sandy Hayes
Longview


Newspapers.com
3 November 1991, The Observer (London, UK), “Bloody Roman thunder: Theatre Michael Coveney hails an RSC Caesar and a not-so-jolly Arthur Miller” by Michael Coveney, pg. 64, col. 3:
(Review of the play The Ride Down Mt. Morgan by Arthur Miller.—ed.)
In spite of one or two vintage joshing gags — ‘You never know when you look at a frog whether it’s the same one you just saw or a different one’, ‘Come down off the cross, we need the wood’ — the writing is flat and bitty, the dilemmas and argument stupefyingly banal.

Wikipedia: Straight Talk
Straight Talk is a 1992 American romantic comedy film directed by Barnet Kellman and starring Dolly Parton and James Woods. (Written by Craig Bolotin.—ed.)

IMDb (The Internet Movie Database)
Straight Talk (1992)
Quotes

‘Dr.’ Shirlee Kenyon: Get down off the cross, honey. Somebody needs the wood.

July/August 1992, Psychology Today (New York, NY), “Marianne Williamson: Who Is She & Why Do We Need Her Now?,” pg. 87, col. 1:
As she (Marianne Williamson—ed.) shouts from her podium to the attentive crowd at her lecture: “Hey! Get off the Cross. WE NEED THE WOOD!”

Google Books
Out
Volume 1
1992
Pg. 104:
So get off the cross, we need the wood.

Google Groups: rec.music.christian
Do We Need a New newsgroup? (was Re: Those Nasty Fundamentalists)
jason Think! steiner
8/13/92
(...)
“Get off the cross. We need the wood.” `,

Google Books
Spin
Volume 10
1994
Pg. 54:
We’ve just got to lighten up on the savior bit, folks. You know, get off the cross, we need the wood.

Newspapers.com
29 December 1994, York (PA) Daily Record, “‘Negaholics’ can’t be changed” by Richard Bowers, pg. 6A, col. 4:
When my friend was given to complaining and whining and other negative behavior, her mother would say, “Get off the cross. We need the wood for something else!”

Wikipedia: Get Off the Cross, We Need the Wood for the Fire
Get Off the Cross, We Need the Wood for the Fire is the debut studio album by Firewater, released on October 22, 1996 by Jetset Records. It is a marked difference in sound from Tod’s previous work in Cop Shoot Cop. In 2017, the album was re-issued on vinyl in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of its release by Checkered Past Records.

Google Groups: rec.music.tori-amos
*I* Re: Suzanne Vega On Tour
MstrDonut
10/18/96
(...)
Had to throw in a Tori ref somewhere--you know, referring to her famous “Get off the cross, we need the wood!” statement.

Google Books
Today I Am a Boy
By David Hays
New York, NY: Simon & Schuster
2000
Pg. 137:
I think of Marianne Williamson’s line, “Get off the Cross, we need the wood.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Get down off the cross : (we need the wood).
Author: David Kelleher
Publisher: AuthorHouse, ©2009.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

Twitter
🇺🇸🌿🕊🌿🌍
@towittertoo
Rule #3.  “Get off the cross, honey, somebody needs the wood” (Dolly Parton in Straight Talk)
8:19 PM · Mar 25, 2009·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
planetARTPOP
@planetARTPOP
Madonna told me… ““Get off the cross, we need the wood.”
Anyone knows what the fuck this means!!!!!!!?> #MDNAdetroit MDNA Detroit
6:56 PM · Nov 9, 2012·Twitter Web Client

Google Books
Sermons for the Everyday Christian
By Daniel E. Bollen
Xlibris Corporation (Xlibris.com)
2012
Pg. 111:
Like my friend said “hey, get off the cross we need the wood.” What she meant when she said this was that Jesus already died for our sins and burdens so stop trying to carry them around. It’s already been done!

Google Books
The Penguin Arthur Miller:
Collected Plays (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

By Arthur Miller
New York, NY: Penguin Books
2015
Pg. ?:
NURSE: Don’t start feeling sorry for yourself; you know what they say—come down off the cross, they need the wood.

YouTube
Get Off The Cross, The Wood Is Needed [REMASTERED] (HQ) (with lyrics)
May 12, 2015
TBB OneTwoOneSix
Band: The Locust
Album: Molecular Genetics From The Gold Standard Labs
Song: Get Off The Cross, The Wood Is Needed
General Genre: Experimental/Electro/Noise Core/Powerviolence
Lyrics:
A wolf remains a wolf even if it has eaten your sheep.
The effects of long hours at the tanning salon.
Outgrowing cacti, so on and so forth. Uh huh, yeah.

YouTube
Get off the Cross We Need the Wood
Jul 29, 2016
Trouser Mouth - Topic
Provided to YouTube by CDBaby
Get off the Cross We Need the Wood · Trouser Mouth
Kissing Hands and Shaking Babies
℗ 2004 Trouser Mouth
Released on: 2004-09-10
Auto-generated by YouTube.
Parental warning

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Monday, October 14, 2019 • Permalink