Barrytown is a town in upstate New York near Annendale, where Donald Fagen and Walter Becker went to school at Bard College. Barrytown is the headquarters for the Unification Church, which is a controversial religious organization led by Sun Myung Moon. They were prominent in the '70s, with Moon giving speeches at Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium.
Jeffrey from Kingston, NyI grew up in Barrytown and we always believed the song was written about the "Christian Brothers," whose seminary was in existence just prior to the Moonies on the same estate. What the brothers carried was a small bible (perhaps concordance, or other books) and their hair was very short. They stood out in the 60s counter culture era.
Nydanfan from New York, NyWell, I may have to stand corrected. I just heard from a friend that in a radio interview Donald Fagen did admit to writing the song about the Unification Church. Have to figure out the time line on this (anyone have DF's email address?).
Nydanfan from New York, NyA lot of references point to the song being about Rev. Moon's property in Barrytown. Problem is that the song was written before Rev. Moon purchased the property. I was at the Moon Barrytown property in Jan. 1975, it was purchased in 1974, but Pretzel Logic was recorded in 74 and the song written probably in 72 or 73. Fagen and Becker had left the area by then having graduated from Bard years before. Many of us enjoyed singing the song there, it certainly seemed to fit the moonies (err, Unificationists) at that time! Maybe a bit prophetic on Don Fagen's part. see: http://www.allmusic.com/song/barrytown-mt0003145136
Cadanfan from Jackson, Ca"I can see by what you carry that you come from Barrytown" references the Moonies selling flowers as a means of making money.