Bert Park’s Blues

“This is the first song I ever did out in public and they still let me play after I did it. The thing about writing topical songs is that as soon as you learn how to do ’em, they’re out of date. But I keep doin’ this anyway because I’m gonna keep doin’ it until justice is restored in this country and Vanessa Williams is named Miss America for life. ‘Cause she deserves it, you know?”

-Introduction from a live performance on 25 Jun 1987

Vanessa Williams was a raven beauty queen,
She wiggled and she giggled,
Kept her image kinda clean,
The judges drooled, the judges ruled,
They liked what they seen,
And then the boiling pot went and called the kettle obscene.
The boiling pot went and called the kettle obscene.

The pageantry officials choked on their cummerbunds,
Said, “Run and come and see
The damage that Vanessa has done.
It’s the sort of immorality,
We surely must shun.
Where have you gone Anita Bryant, with your Florida son?
Where have you gone Anita Bryant, with your Florida son?”

I saw the vulture on the T.V. with his glittering gold,
He said, “The pictures were a treasure
I just couldn’t withhold.
Hey – I’m sorry about the crown she lost –
I hate to sound cold,
But one man’s beauty pageant is another’s centerfold.
One man’s beauty pageant is another’s centerfold.”

Vanessa Williams stood there naked on that press conference floor,
She said, “Uncle Sam’s informed me,
I don’t work for him no more.
I turned my face to find forgiveness,
Found the slammin’ of the door –
I’ve gone from credit to my race to Babylonian whore
Credit to my race to Babylonian whore”

For over forty years we’ve cowered in the shadow of the bomb.
We have survived a Watergate,
McCarthy and Vietnam.
Yet them same superficial sweeties,
Are still turnin’ us on;
Fifty blushing virgins oozing apple pie and mom.
Fifty blushing virgins oozing apple pie and mom.

Vanessa Williams was a raven beauty queen.
She wiggled and she giggled,
For the judges so keen,
And there’s a moral in her story girls,
So keep your poses clean.
And never shed your swimming suit for Penthouse magazine.
Never shed your swimming suit for Penthouse magazine.

 

 “Bert Park’s Blues” appears on Don’t Be Afraid.


© and ℗ 1989 by Marques Bovre