Monday, February 11, 2013

On The Backs of Others - An Old Song

While I work into the wee hours of the morning on two new songs, here's one from the Voices of Washington days that I'm gonna revive at the musical gathering which will occur next Sunday at my house. Not my best effort, but not bad. I wrote it for my chorus to sing as a more poppy standard for an idea that I had called the 'Concert for Washington' that was supposed to be the epochal event that made me into the most important musician from Washington DC since Duke Ellington. Since my self-delusion has known no bounds, it would have probably served me well to remember that I'm from Baltimore. But this was my attempt at a half-parody of Bob Dylan. One singer told me that the end result sounded more like Schoolhouse Rock... Not sure if she meant it as a complement, but if it was meant an insult, there are much, much less flattering ones.

In every country of the world,
It's always boom and bust.
Except the cap'tal cities cuz,
They hold our bonds in trust.

In Them we Trust and Liberty
Because we have no choice,
And if we don't what good is it
Cuz they speak with our voice?

And with our gold they pave our roads
And give us daily bread.
But those who have no gold to spare
Must they put in their share for us to spread?
On the Backs of Others.

But if our share is in Detroit
And Cincinnati too,
How come we can't see where it goes,
Or how it comes to you?

Will it be taken to a place,
Where charity goes to die?
And if it does will we know then
That politicians lie?

Cuz if they don't then we excuse
Th'excesses of the job,
When people smile as they stab,
Remember they climbed up the angry mob,
On the Backs of Others.

They're just like you and me, no doubt
They cook ther'own Sauce Bearnaise,
And caviar and de Foie Gras,
Cuz duck’s a food you braise.

And if they say their not like us
We'll run the dead-beats out,
Cuz we don't like no elite bums
gone tell us what to doubt.

Cuz if we doubt then we will know
That we must then feel shame,
And with such shame we must cast off
the burden that the White Man brought to fame.
On the Backs of Others.

So fat cats get the greenbacks in
Their pockets deep and wide
While children starve and poor men curse
what all good men abide.

For all good men and women too
take note what they observe.
And yet they never see we get
The leaders we deserve.

And when those leaders then exude
An unmistakable whiff,
We put the clothespin on our nose
Close eyes and let them lead us off the cliff.
On the backs of others.

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