Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ballad of Obama

The economy was broked,
The bankers took our share.
I said, Papa,
What’s the matter here?
I’m waitin' on Obama, son,
Obama, Obama,
Waitin' on Obama, son.
The mortgage was due,
And the lights was out.
I said, Tell me, Mama,
What’s it all about?
We’re waitin' on Obama, son,
Obama, Obama,
Just waitin' on Obama.
Grandma needs pills
And we couldn’t git none
Cause Medicare wouldn’t
The authorize that one—
A-waitin on Obama,
Obama, Obama,
A-waitin' on Obama.
Then one day
They put us out o' the house.
Ma and Pa was Meek as a mouse
Still waitin' on Obama,
Obama, Obama.
But when they felt those
Cold winds blow
And didn’t have no
Place to go
Pa said, I’m tired
O’waitin' on Obama,
Obama, Obama.
Damn tired o‘ waitin’ on Obama.
I can’t git a job
And I can’t git no grub.
Backbone and navel’s
Doin' the belly-rub—
A-waitin' on Obama,
Obama, Obama.
And a lot o' other folks
What’s hungry and cold/Done stopped believin'
What they been told
By Obama,
Obama, Obama—
Cause the economy’s still broked,
And the bankers still take our share,
And you can’t build a Life
Out o' air—
Mr. Obama, listen!
What’s the matter here?

Derivations on a poem by Langston Hughes originally publish as “Ballad of Roosevelt” in the New Republic 31 (November 14, 1934) 76 years later it is still a truism that politicians promise the world and fail to keep those promises. I can not say how Mr. Hughes would react to the events of our current day. He was a strident socialist and passionately believed in its’ promised workers paradise. Today many on the left give President Obama wide latitude, but others have complained that he “lacks the sand to be a truly great president.” I don’t really believe in “truly great presidents.” I believe in Americans. We are as a whole truly great. And we have more than enough sand to hold on to our ideals and continue to perfect our union.

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