Petey Pablo fans, cover your eyes.

Public Policy Polling conducted a 30-question cultural poll of 1,268 voters in North Carolina between September 24 and September 27.


They asked about the last election (45% Obama, 46% Romney), thoughts on Barbecue (88% liked it, 9% didn't), and whether Bigfoot lives in the North Carolina mountains (7% said yes, 74% said no, and a canny 19% were unsure).

But no question was more important than question 21, which concerns a proud North Carolina tradition:

This, of course, is a reference to the seminal 2001 North Carolina anthem "Raise Up" by Petey Pablo:

Is this number low? Is there a generational divide? Some are skeptical😉:

But there is perhaps even more pressing issue at hand: did Public Policy Polling phrase the question wrong? As you can see above, the question asked "Have you ever taken your shirt off and twisted it around your head just like a helicopter?" But, that seems to be based on lyrics from Google Play, which read (emphasis mine):

This one's for North Carolina! C'mon and raise up
Take your shirt off, twist it 'round yo head
Spin it like a helicopter

This is the most common hearing of the lyric, if Twitter searches are any indication. But, what an odd idea, twisting your shirt around your head? Though you are certainly spinning the shirt over your head, like a helicopter blade, the shirt is actually twisting around your hand. Indeed, re-listening to the song, it's very clear Petey Pablo is saying "hand." According to other lyric sites, including Genius, "hand" is indeed the lyric (again, emphasis mine):

This one's for North Carolina! C'mon and raise up
Take your shirt off, twist it 'round yo' hand
Spin it like a helicopter

More importantly, in the video Petey Pablo is clearly twisting a shirt around his hand, and then spinning it around like a helicopter. Sometimes it's spinning around his head, but not always, and that isn't specified.


Could the numbers be off? Could the good people of North Carolina be confused by a misheard lyric? The public demands to know.


Neither Public Policy Polling nor the state of North Carolina are doing Petey Pablo proud.

[h/t Brian Beutler]

Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at