Saturday, May 22, 2004


Recently I helped a member of Our Noble Leader's administration rediscover her muse. To preserve her deniability, I'll call her here, after another performer who turned from her true calling, "Sally Ann Blainey". She told me that she felt empty these days, as though there were just no new worlds to conquer, at least until after this November. I thought she needed a new pastime. "Doctor," I asked, "what gave you joy before you got into this work?" She surprised me by revealing it had been music.

She had been aiming at a career as a pianist, until in college a good teacher inspired her to change to foreign relations. It had been decades since she had practiced daily. She tried playing again for one music loving diplomat she knew, but "'Es demasiado tarde, Con,' dijo gentilmente." I dug further to see why she had been attracted to music in the first place. Psychoanalysts will not be surprised that it was because of a traumatic incident in her youth. A kindergarten classmate of hers was killed by some domestic terrorists. (Considering when and where this happened, they were almost certainly Democrats.) She was motivated to help others with music, because she got emotional relief after the tragedy from one particular song about it, that began:
Come round by my side and I'll sing you a song.
I'll sing it so softly, it'll do no one wrong.
On Birmingham Sunday the blood ran like wine,
And the choirs kept singing of Freedom.
I recognized that as one of several gushy leftist political propaganda songs from the sixties, and that gave me the opening needed. I told her that Richard Farina had written all those lyrics, but that he didn't compose the tune. It was just an old folk song he set new words to. That was something easy enough that she could do it herself, without even quitting her day job. To provoke her to try, I showed her how some liberals were still doing that kind of thing. My example was a parody by Mad Kane, that began:
Condoleezza, Condoleezza, Dub adores you.
You're so fine at saying falsehoods with a smile.
Is it cause you're female, Condi, that they've blamed you
For your fabulosa fakery and guile?
As I expected, she was personally outraged by this. When I told her that leftist mocker was, like her, a former musician, and had based those lyrics on the old hit "Mona Lisa", written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, she decided she would try this. I suggested she begin simply, like Farina, with an old folk song. I gave her one of the many, many variants of the lyrics to perhaps the best anonymous American tune, a great tribute to our brave pioneers stealing away women from rustic redskins, that begins:
Oh Shenandoah, I long to hear you
Away, you rollin' river
Oh Shenandoah, I can't get near you
Away, I'm called away
'Cross the wide Missouri
It took her several days of false starts before she returned with a good hawkish take on this, based on material from her current career:
Saddam Hussein, your regime must go
Away, you Ba'athist butcher.
If you don't flee, our missles will blow
Away your palaces
'Cross the wide Euphrates.
I told her this was adequate for a first attempt. Now she should try something more serious, like a musical. To keep it easy, she could use the Gershwin and Heyward lullaby from Porgy and Bess, "Summertime". She dashed off to write, and came back with this political hymn:
Terror time,
And the winnin' is easy
Folks are tremblin'
And the polls are so high

Your Prez is rich
And your Veep's giving contracts
If you'll vote for us
We won't lie

Some other leap year
You're going to rise in anger
You'll take your country back
And hang us up to dry

Until that day comes
We'll make all your decisions
And we'll keep you scared so you won't try
Once again, music therapy has helped bring fulfillment to a lonely career woman. She's found a hobby that gives her a new interest in life. And it will be a refreshing change not to have the song parody market monopolized by those beastly liberals.

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