Friday, June 25, 2010

Mossgathering, or Why Doesn't That Darn Muse Ever Call Before Dropping In?

The minor premise professes no little perplexity regarding the circumstances of General S.McChrystal's recent departure from the Afghan theater. Was it poor P.R. management? Rank insubordination? A sacrifice bunt? Ya got us.

Doubly perplexing was the odd effect of the news on people in the 40-55 age demographic. Since news of the incriminatory Rolling Stone article that set in motion that shotgun change-of-command sequence hit the stands (there's an idiom that puts me squarely in the 40+ demog) both D and I found our personal mental soundtracks immovably stuck on Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show's 1972 hit The Cover of the Rolling Stone. I'm talking all day long without interruption. (The honorable daughters attempted to exorcise me after lunch yesterday with a Flight of the Conchords tune, but, alas, relief was only temporary.) What was truly eerie about this potentially maddening situation was D's discovery at work yesterday that quite a few of his colleagues in that age group were experiencing the same phenomenon (some were irritated to find that they couldn't remember all the lyrics and thus were plagued constantly by just the chorus.) So we're astonished to find that, thirty-eight years after its release, the song seems to be a deeply imbedded cultural meme. Heaven help me should this phenomenon ever trigger similar effects with anything in the Human League discography.

As we've found in the past that earworm removal can sometimes be accomplished through parody , we decided to give it a try. Though we're not quite finished, (to remain true to the original we'll need a third verse) I figured we ought to go ahead and post what we've got now, adding the rest once we've worked it out (which won't be before we have some time to kill later tonight.) I don't want any other fortysomething frustrated lyricists accusing us of intellectual property theft just because some of us around here have to put in a day's work.

Update: Okay, the whole shebang is posted. Now to get off this machine before the absolutely bodacious lightning we're getting fries me at the keyboard.

Covered By the Rolling Stone
by DMinor and CMinor,

Sung to the tune of Cover of the Rolling Stone
with profuse apologies to the memory of Shel Silverstein and to the various members, living and deceased, of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show. Sorry, guys, there was no other recourse!

Well, I’m a pro at wars,
I’ve got four gold stars:
They salute everywhere I go.
I order divisions and I order brigades—
I pretty much run the show.
I have at my command
A coalition so grand
That you wouldn’t think I’d be thrown—
So you might not figger
That my trouble’d get bigger
Bein’ covered by the Rolling Stone.

(Rolling Stone…)
Didn’t think my boss had too much gumption;
(Rolling Stone…)
Now that thought is out there for consumption
(Rolling Stone…)
Since I went and made my case
‘Tween the covers of the Rolling Stone.

I’ve got a top-notch battle plan;
Karzai thinks I’m the man;
By my troops I am admired.
But when I have to haggle some admin hack
I wish I were retired.
They muck up my job—
That incoherent mob—
And they’re useless when I phone,
So it takes no explainin’
How my bitter complainin’
Wound up covered by the Rolling Stone.

(Rolling Stone…)
How’d a music rag get on this beat, now?
(Rolling Stone…)
Back to D. C., gonna take some heat, now.
(Rolling Stone…)
‘Cause the White House I disgraced
'Tween the covers of the Rolling Stone.

Now, there’s a lot of petty, loudmouthed
Talk show pundits
Who’ll twist everything I say,
And some genu-wine network anchors
Who’ll love that I’ve got Hell to pay.
But my staff and I
Spoke our minds; that’s why
I’m losing the command I own.
My career, they detached it
With a lefty stooge’s hatchet
Who was writing for the Rolling Stone.

(Rolling Stone…)
Now I’m done with military service
(Rolling Stone…)
They can’t hush me; that’ll make ‘em nervous.
(Rolling Stone…)
If Petraeus ain’t embraced
He can always call the Rolling Stone.


[Repeat chorus and fade]

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