Politics Kill

“I wrote this song ’cause I had this nightmare that I was stuck in a bar with George Will and we had to talk politics and drink Huber on tap. And I don’t mind the Huber.”

-Introduction from a live performance on 23 June 1988

I was drinkin’ in a bar,
In a dream, with George Will.
I said, “The truth hurts you Georgie,
But politics kill.”
He said, “It ain’t politics man – it’s politicians,
With the murkiest motives and naked ambitions.
And now Reagan’s America is dying with him,
And that crazy old fart left me out on this limb.”
I said, “Get a grip George, grab a shot and a fag.
You know it’s Christmas-time man, let’s check out the main drag.
Check out this nation’s situation.”

Down Fraternity Row,
Where the cold winds blow
And they whistle thru the ears
Of a minstrel show.
It’s Al Jolson and pygmies and Amos and Andy.
It’s like the KKK gets a BA degree.
And no law of the land can set the bigots apart –
You know the fieriest cross always burns in the heart.
I said, “Deep in the heart.
Ah’m duh Kingfish.”

See the P.C. kid,
With the tie-dye shirt?
He said, “Life really sucks man,
It’s mean and it hurts.”
I said, “Get a job kid, get a life, get a spine.
You can take a long walk or just stand here in line.
Don’t you know Jean-Paul Sartre and Old Testament Dad,
Have granted you freedom?!?
You make me so sad.
When you hear there’s no free lunch, you say there ain’t no free will.
I guess even correct kinda politics kill –
Now that your mama’s eyes and daddy’s battle cries,
Have changed from free love to free free enterprise.
Make investments, not love.”

But that’s not what the dream’s about,
Is it George?
That’s not why you’re here, that’s not why I’m here.
I’m here to find out how a man with absolutely no spine,
Can turn his back in so many directions at once.

You found four dead in a ditch,
Down in El Salvador.
You finally opened your eyes,
You found fifteen thousand more.
Ain’t it funny, how when a lovely thing dies (at the hands of a friend)
You still got Sandanista in your eyes.
Well this isn’t a wing thing for the left or the right,
It’s ’bout bullets and babies and screams in the night.
From the mothers and fathers. And the blood they bled.
And the blood they bled was commie red.
Where’s the white and blue? Ain’t no white and blue flowin’ outa you.
Mr. Comrade, fellow traveller.

See the cardboard family livin’ out on the grill?
They scream in my dreams, they scream, “Poverty Kills!”
They scream, “We’re faceless, faceless statistics.
Because we do not go boom and we are not ballistic,
But we may just explode in the face of this nation.”
These are your children too, this is your situation, George.
We were born in a revolution, sometimes blood, sometimes revelation.
We were born in a revolution and now were drownin’ in a sea
Of stagnation. Livin’ and dyin’ in the Coffee Generation.

So have one on me George and break out your thesaurus.
Sing some ten dollar lies and I’ll join on the chorus.
It ain’t depression. It ain’t recession.
It’s economic reaction to all this commie aggression.
And Reagan’s America dies by degrees –
If the truth doesn’t work, you just try one of these.
You say, “No.”
You say, “Maybe.”
You say, “Yes, well, I really don’t remember.”
I say, “History Will.”
I say history will.


“Politics Kill” appears on Living and Dying in the Coffee Generation.

© and ℗ 1988 Marques Bovre