Posts Tagged ‘tom paxton’

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)

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