Pop Philosophy

Political Song Contest

It's not easy being green As Election Day bears down upon us like a Mack truck on a rainy highway, my mailbox has been flooded with responses to the political songwriting contest. Well, perhaps "flooded" is the wrong word. Let's just say that a high percentage of the people who submitted will be receiving a package in the mail.

The presidential category was the most intensely contested; in fact, it was quite difficult to choose a winner (sound familiar?). Eventually, Ira Marlowe's "Everything's Fine (The Ballad of George W. Bush)" came out on top, although Joe Sixpack gets special mention for delineating the differences between the candidates in his song "The Anti- Anti-Anthem (Al's Theme)." Marlowe says to imagine his song as a country waltz, like "the Beverly Hillbillies theme in 3/4 time."

He started off easy, he started off slow,
He did him some booze and he did him some blow.
His GPA hovered around 2.0,
His IQ was measured just slightly below.

Details


Sample of The Slow Poisoners' "Go, Robert O'Malley, Go!"

<p align="center"> If your browser doesn't play the music automatically, <A HREF="http://www.sfweekly.com/media/2000-11-01/slowpoisoners.mp3"> download it here.</A> </p>

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He wasn't a leader, he wasn't alert,
The apple-cheeked lad with the puke on his shirt.
Few could have guessed it, few could have known,
Georgie might one day ascend to the throne.

He quit his carousing, he cleaned up his act,
He traded his toga for a ten-gallon hat.
He got some investors, he drilled him a well,
Deep down in the ground 'til it went straight to hell.

He got him some handlers, he got him a team
To explain to him what all these "policies" mean.
This time his investors, they did not go wrong,
They put him in Austin, right where he belonged!

Crime was a problem, he knew what to do,
He built him some prisons, built him a slew.
Private facilities, grave consequences,
They sprung up like malls with electrified fences.

To house all the hoodlums and villains and thugs,
Especially those with the nerve to try drugs.
Now every bad Leroy and Jim-Bob and Jethro
Sits countin' the days on a privatized death row.

But the governor's mansion was still not the scene
For a Texas-size man with a Texas-size dream
Just like his daddy, he longed to be king,
Tossing his pinwheel hat in the ring.

The Democrats' choice was a Tennessee stud
Who necked with his wife just to prove he had blood.
A deep-thinking cyborg with silicon charm,
Born with a manual tucked in his arm.

They bantered, they battled, in desperate need
To cover the fact that they mostly agreed.
They jabbed and they jeered till their faces were red,
But everyone still watched Survivor instead.

Yes, everything's fine, this thing's good as won,
Double your pleasure, double your fun.
W's comin' so strap on your gun
And stay out of trouble my son, my son.

Just stay out of trouble, my son.

Over in the supervisor category, our winner was Slow Poisoners, a local band that wrote and recorded an ode to District 6 candidate Robert O'Malley. (It hasn't helped him much -- he's since dropped out of the race.) When the group performed "Go, Robert O'Malley, Go" on the steps of City Hall, a homeless man thought the band was sending him personal instructions to attack Willie Brown. The song goes like this:

Who's gonna win this race tonight?
The left wing knows that he's all right.
Go, Robert O'Malley, Go!

Green screaming freedom everywhere.
Truth! And Justice! 'Cause he cares.
Go, Robert O'Malley, Go!

If you think City Hall is not well run,
Vote for Robert, he's No. 1.
Go, Robert O'Malley, Go!

Since not one reader felt the propositions were scintillating enough to sing about, I'm offering my own song. I call this "Hey Hey My My (Into the Blecch)." (Apologies to Neil Young and Mad magazine.)

Willie was afraid that Prop. L
Would send his buddies back to hell.
So he drafted up Prop. K
To make the other go away.
Does it establish caps on lofts?
Not really, Sue Hester scoffs.
What about new office space?
It'll proceed at a higher pace.

In reality, Prop. K's about big bucks
And how much Joe O really sucks.
So when you cast your vote
Send Brown & Co. this here note:
Prop. K smells mighty funny,
Cram it and your money.

That's a lot of drummersI'm not the only guy who's pissed that Mayor Brown seems more inclined to make a buck than alleviate the city's housing problems. Promoter Ian Brennan, who for the past two years has been meeting with supervisors to formulate a live/work loft moratorium in the Mission, has put together a free celebrate-and-educate concert called Take Back San Francisco. The festivities occur on Sunday, Nov. 5, beginning with a noontime Million Band March from the Women's Building on 18th St. to Civic Center Plaza. Performances begin around 1 p.m., and include Mark Eitzel, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Jello Biafra, John Santos, Zen Guerrilla, DJ Swift Rock, Creeper Lagoon, DJ Polywog, Sister Spit, Felonious, Fat Chance Belly Dance, and a certain unnamed East Bay trio whose fan base probably isn't old enough to care about rental issues. Supervisor Tom Ammiano, who will speak at the event, has proclaimed Nov. 5 to be Local Music Day.

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