Archive for the 'lyrics' Category

Tom Paxton: I Am Changing My Name To Chrysler Wall Street

September 28, 2008

Tom Paxton belongs in my relatively small pantheon of personal heroes. Not just for his songwriting over the last 50 years or so – although The Ballad of Spiro Agnew alone would probably justify his inclusion – but as much for giving me genuine encouragement at a concert in Glenrothes in 2001 (“If I can do it, you can do it”) and then responding to an e-mail I sent pointing him here: he said he was right, I can do it. The man, as the saying goes, is a Proper Gent.

And what better way to flatter him than by stealing one of his songs wholesale? In fact, I’d be kind of disappointed if he wasn’t singing this exact song on his current tour. On which I expect to catch him, and suggest you do too, or at least buy a few of his albums. (Tom, if you’re reading this – feel free to steal any of my songs in return ;o) Yeah, that’s right, the ones I’ve just given away to anyone who wants them.)

I Am Changing My Name To Chrysler Wall Street

Oh, the price of gold is rising out of sight, and the dollar’s in a sorry state tonight
What a dollar used to get us now won’t buy a head of lettuce
No, the economic forecast isn’t bright.
But amid the clouds I see a shining ray, I begin to glimpse a new and better way,
I’ve devised a plan of action, worked it down to the last fraction
And I’m going into action here today.

I am changing my name to Wall Street, I am going down to Washington DC
I will tell Bernanke what he’s doing for those bankers would be perfectly acceptable to me
I am changing my name to Wall Street, I am heading for that great receiving line
And when they hand a billion grand out, I’ll be standing with my hand out,
Yessir, I’ll get mine.

When my creditors come screaming for my dough, I’ll be glad to tell them all where they can go
They won’t have to yell and holler, they’ll be paid to the last dollar
Where the endless streams of money seem to flow
I’ll be glad to tell them all what they can do, it’s a matter of a simple form or two,
It’s not just remuneration, it’s a liberal education,
Aren’t you kindly glad that I’m in debt to you?

I am changing my name to Wall Street, I am going down to Washington DC
I will tell Bernanke what he’s doing for those bankers would be perfectly acceptable to me
I am changing my name to Wall Street, I am heading for that great receiving line
And when they hand a billion grand out, I’ll be standing with my hand out,
Yessir, I’ll get mine.

Since the first amphibian crawled out of the slime, we’ve been struggling in an unrelenting climb
We were hardly up and walking before money started talking
And it said that failure is an awful crime
It’s been that way a millennium or two, now it seems that there’s a different point of two
If you’re a corporate titanic and your failure is gigantic
Down in Congress there’s a safety net for you.

I am changing my name to Wall Street, I am going down to Washington DC
I will tell Bernanke what he’s doing for those bankers would be perfectly acceptable to me
I am changing my name to Wall Street, I am heading for that great receiving line
And when they hand a billion grand out, I’ll be standing with my hand out,
Yessir, I’ll get mine.

(Original lyrics by Tom Paxton, 1980)

United

April 29, 2008

The more eagle-eyed readers will spot that this is a reworking of Dear FedEx. There are actually a few more verses of this, but I thought just singing the true ones would be more effective than claiming to have flown via Timbuktu. There is an audio recording, but I need to clean it up and put it online. Soon.

United, United, I write to complain
You’ve led me to miss my connection again
Twenty-four hours of my life down the drain
And all you can do is treat me with disdain

United, United you’re driving me spare
I just spent the night at Chicago O’Hare
You dumped me in Madison, tearing my hair
And now you’re refusing to refund my fare.

United, United, the air’s turning blue
I’ve been calling all night and I still can’t get through
I’m stuck navigating your computer menu
Which tells me my call is important to you

United, United, you’re making me cry
All of your ads tell me ‘it’s time to fly’
But when I spoke to the ticket desk guy
He said ‘ten more hours ‘til you’re in the sky’.

United, United you’ve got to be jokin’
If you think this voucher will stop my ears smokin’
My trip took forever and the TV was broken
And you think I’ll be happy with a stinking gift token

United, United, you’re useless at best
You got me home tired and grumpy and stressed
I’d rate you zero or possibly less
You make me nostalgic to fly with North West.

Meet the New Bloke

February 22, 2008

No MP3. This is an old one that I occasionally line up when I don’t like the look of a friend’s new partner.

You introduce me to your latest lover
As if you have unearthed some kind of gem
You tell me he’s not like the others
But he looks pretty much identical to them

Meet the new bloke, he’s the same as the old bloke
Six foot four, the air’s too heavy to reach his brain
Meet the new bloke, he’s the same as the old bloke
Only the football shirt has changed.

You introduce me to your latest boyfriend
He’s tall and tanned and muscle-bound
You say you’ve known him since the weekend
Yet you still seem to think he’s fun to be around.

Meet the new bloke, he’s the same as the old bloke
Six foot four, the air’s too heavy to reach his brain
Meet the new bloke, he’s the same as the old bloke
Only the football shirt has changed.

You introduce me to your new fiancé
The man to whom you’ll give your independence
How he proposed to you, you won’t say
But I’m skeptical that he used a complete sentence.

Meet the new bloke, he’s the same as the old bloke
Six foot four, the air’s too heavy to reach his brain
Meet the new bloke, he’s the same as the old bloke
Only the football shirt has changed.

Enjoying the Ride

February 19, 2008

Just noticed that one of my live staples doesn’t have its lyrics on the site. Ought to change that. No MP3.

Buddy, where’s the fire? You’re pedalling fit to bust
With your lycra gear and clip-on shoes, you leave me in your dust
But I’m not trying to catch you, I’m way too dignified
I’m just out in the sunshine, enjoying the ride.

Enjoying the ride, all of those thunderclouds gathering in the sky
Are going to take a detour and pass me right on by
But if it rains, I’ll get wet – then I’ll cycle until I’m dry
I’m just out in the sunshine, enjoying the ride.

I’ve been coming out lately with the raw end of the deal
So I keep my feet in motion and follow my front wheel
The wind in my face is drying all those tears I cried
I’m just out in the sunshine, enjoying the ride.

Enjoying the ride, up on the shoulder, a white line as my guide
My mind is clear and peaceful, my eyes are open wide
Anything life throws at me, I’ll take it in my stride
I’m just out in the sunshine, enjoying the ride.

New song (WIP): I’m going to quit my low-down lawyering ways

February 19, 2008

Inspired by a New Yorker cartoon. It might get an MP3 when it’s finished.

I’m going to quit my low-down lawyering ways
I’m going to quit my low-down lawyering ways
I don’t care what anyone says
I’m going to head for happy days
And I’m going to quit my low-down lawyering ways.

I’m going to serve my very last subpoena
I’m going to serve my very last subpoena
Could be for a felony
Or for a misdemeanour
I’m going to serve my very last subpoena
I’m going to quit my low-down lawyering ways
I’m going to quit my low-down lawyering ways
I don’t care what anyone says
I’m going to head for happy days
And I’m going to quit my low-down lawyering ways.

I’m going to hear that gavel bang one last time
I’m going to hear that gavel bang one last time
Then I’m turning on a dime
And heading for a life of crime
I’m going to hear that gavel bang one last time
I’m going to quit my low-down lawyering ways
I’m going to quit my low-down lawyering ways
I don’t care what anyone says
I’m going to head for happy days
And I’m going to quit my low-down lawyering ways.

I’m going to raise my very last objection
I’m going to raise my very last objection
And instead of going back to work
I’ll take the opposite direction
I’m going to hear that gavel bang one last time

I’m going to quit my low-down lawyering ways
I’m going to quit my low-down lawyering ways
I don’t care what anyone says
I’m going to head for happy days
And I’m going to quit my low-down lawyering ways.

New song: No Underwear

February 2, 2008

This has no MP3 yet, and I’m not going to do one until I can carry the tune. Never let it be said that Kensson ducks some of the great taboos…

My friends were getting married, it was up I had to smarten
So I went to rent myself a kilt in the Black Watch tartan
But when I got into the shop they were selling off their stock
And if I turned down a bargain, how could I call myself a Scot?

Even with no underwear, everything exposed to air
No underwear, there’s a nice cool breeze down there
Read the rest of this entry »

Positively Fourth Arrondissement

January 3, 2008

This is an old song (1998 or so), and no MP3 is available; it stumbled into my consciousness a few weeks ago and I resurrected it for my last gig. I think there’s another verse that I’ve forgotten – any memories would be welcome. Incidentally, there may be new songs coming soon, but no promises.

The God Squad’s in the cupboard, it’s something of a crush
The agnostic fundamentalists are tarring them with one brush
You come rushing out of there, hell for leather
There’s someone after you with a feather

I want you to know you’re the woman of my dreams
I want you to know that you can make them come true
I want you to know you’re the woman of my dreams
I want to be half of a beautiful tangle with you.

Read the rest of this entry »

Irn-Bru

November 14, 2007

Irn-Bru logoNo MP3 is available of this; it is sung to the tune of Abba’s Waterloo. For those poor souls never to have experienced the orange nectar, Irn-Bru is Scotland’s other national drink (the non-alcoholic one) and reputed – with some justification – to be an excellent hangover cure. I humbly submit this as Scotland’s next national anthem.

My my! Last night I was out on an almighty bender
Oh yeah! And now I’ve got what was due to me in a familiar way:
Yesterday evening’s tea, beginning to repeat upon me…

Irn-Bru! I’m dehydrated, my throat is dry,
Irn-Bru! I need a caffeine and sugar high,
Irn-Bru! Couldn’t drink coke if I wanted to,
Irn-Bru! When I’m hung over you pull me through,
Irn, Irn, Irn, Irn, Irn-Bru, finally drinking my Irn-Bru.
Read the rest of this entry »

NEW song: Murderers on Mendenhall

October 9, 2007

An MP3 of Murderers on Mendenhall is available here. It’s demo quality, which means I screwed up the chords (2.49) and couldn’t be bothered to fix it. And since even people from Bozeman have been asking me, Mendenhall is a street. It runs parallel to Main. There’s no reason for it, it just sounds nice, almost as nice as Scooniehill.

Turn the tape back to the beginning,
There’s a line I’d like to hear again
Something about singing when you’re sinning,
Returning to the regular refrain
And the murderers on Mendenhall can’t touch me tonight,
I’m far too fired-up to fight
The only thing I’m thinking of is how I’m going to
Steer my sorry soul back to you
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Missing/When I’m Gone

September 15, 2007

An MP3 of Missing/When I’m Gone is available here. I wrote Missing; When I’m Gone is by Phil Ochs. This is posted for Essbee, by request.

Whatever happened to the boy-scout I used to be?
Full of good deeds and duty to God, Queen and Country
He’d have been useful, what with everything he was taught
But he’s missing, presumed got interested in sport.
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