The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

By request, the song mentioned in the previous post

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Not terribly proud of this one, but here it is.  I think the formatting is a bit screwy, so the changes don’t actually go where they appear to.

Never Trust A Bureaucrat

E                A
Negotiations broke down over benefits and pay.
B7                 E
We put it to a vote and went out the sixth of May.
F#
On the ninth our union president presented his advice:
B7                      E
He stood before the local, said, “Why can’t you guys be nice?
C#m                G#m
I understand your grevances, I sympathize and all,
A                     B7
But keep your tempers down and we’ll negotiate next fall.”
E              F#
I turned to my buddy, and said, “I smell a rat,”
B7                 E
He said, “It’s the same old story: Never trust a bureaucrat.”

All through the long hot summer we walked the picket line
The company got injunctions, they threatened us with fines.
They brought in scabs and thugs, called in the guard and then,
Our president said, “Have no fear I’ll write my congressman.”
We said we’d fight it out right here until we took the prize,
That’s when we got the news that said, “Your strike’s not authorized.”
The minute we began to fight, that’s when they dumped us flat.
We learned our lesson well: never trust a bureaucrat.

They sell out the boys at Boise, just like they did P9.
They call us wildcatters and kiss management’s behind
In Northern Minnesota, at Greyhound or the mines,
You know we’ve been through all of this a hundred thousand times,
The rank and file want to fight, the leadership says nix,
Kind of makes you think that they’re a bunch of lousy people.
Every chance they get they’re going to stab you in the back,
Well, the lesson’s pretty simple: never trust a bureaucrat.

They got me so confused I don’t know who to hate
The boss wants war in the Middle-East, the bureaucrats say Great.
When it seems like our lives are on a slow boat to Hell,
All they try to tell us is, “Please vote DFL.”
But an injury to one is still an injury to all,
The trumpet is still sounding, and we still hear the call.
They’re wretched, sneaking little mice, and we are all the cats;
The power’s in our hands, we don’t need the bureaucrats.

18-Nov-90

corwin

Author: corwin

Site administrative account, so probably Corwin, Felix or DD-B.

0 Comments

  1. Variable-width fonts will do that to formatting. That’s why so many songs online are in Courier.

  2. Kind of makes you think that they’re a bunch of lousy people.

    Very nice.

  3. Back during the Cold War, I regularly tried to make the point that the Kremlin, say, and General Motors, were both enormous bureaucracies, giving them enormous similarities.

  4. Why not terribly proud?

    I think it’s great!

  5. Now I want to hear it sung!

  6. My girlfriend, when I read her both your recollection of the rally and the lyrics to the song, was immediately reminded (and I agree) of Woody Guthrie and a number of the dust bowl ballads.

    Was he ever an influence?

    Along those lines, I watched the History Channel’s People Speak special last night and it reminded of you and wondered if you had seen it. A really great perspective on history as written by the winners vs. as experienced by the rest.

    Finally (!) where can I find the original Pig Eatins conversation? I loved it and had it bookmarked for a long time, but have switched computers and can no longer find it.

    Holding my breath until Your-Itch,

    Steve

  7. Oh, yes. I was raised on Woody, among others. I’ll see if I can track down that conversation.

  8. Steve: The original of the pig eatin’s conversation is here:
    http://skzbrust.livejournal.com/2006/03/17/

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