The Dream Café

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

Sixteen Credits

| 21 Comments

Co-written with Mark Hall

Some people say a man is made out of gore
Well a student is just a credit score
A credit score and a mind that’s spry
A future that’s bleak, and a bank that’s dry

You take sixteen creds and what do you get?
Nearer your degree and deeper in debt
St. Peter don’t you call me cuz I must stay
I owe my soul to Sallie Mae

Enrolled one morning, it was drizlin rain
“Get a degree” was the school’s refrain
Should I study English, or should it be Math?
Decades of debt was the only path.

You take sixteen creds….

I enrolled one morning I was at an impasse
Picked up my laptop and I walked into class
I took sixteen creds based on aptitude
And the T.A. said, “Well son, you’re screwed.”

You take sixteen creds…

This job pays just $8.95
It ain’t enough to keep a man alive
I can’t rent a roof to stop the wet
‘Cause $5.50 of that goes to service my debt

You take sixteen creds….

If you see me coming just say hello
I’m working a job that don’t pay what I owe
I earned a liberal arts degree
And all it got me was bankruptcy

You take sixteen creds….

 

 

(Yeah, there are scansion problems, I know. Suggestions welcome.)

skzb

Author: skzb

I play the drum.

21 Comments

  1. They rewrote the bankruptcy rules to prevent people from discharging student loan debt. Otherwise, love it.

    “I owe my soul to the company store…”

  2. Yup. Good one, too true.

  3. skzb

    Kragar: Yeah, I know. Still drives people to bankruptcy, though, so I think it can stand.

  4. Applause.

    For scansion, maybe:
    You take sixteen creds and what do you get?

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  7. ‘nearer your degree’ rather than ‘close to your degree’?

  8. skzb

    Scans much better. Is the meaning of “creds” clear enough in context?

  9. You take 16 creeee…dits what do ya get
    A semester older and deeper in debt

    And I can’t even go into bankruptcy

  10. Creds seems clear from the context; especially to an SF aware audience.

  11. skzb

    Updated. A couple of the suggestions taken. “Nearer” makes more sense, but doesn’t sing as well. I went with it anyway.

  12. skzb

    I changed it to “You take sixteen creds” but left the title unchanged; that might help anyone who’s confused.

  13. I’d replace “a bank account that’s dry” with “and a bank that’s dry”.

  14. Going to record it once you’ve got the lyrics solidified?

  15. “Closer to degree but further in debt” would allow the juxtaposition of closer and further.

  16. skzb

    David: I like that. Done.

    rewritingdeath: Probably not. Anyone else is free to, however.

  17. Pingback: the scholar debt version / Boing Boing - Breaking News, CNN, BBC, Nairaland.com

  18. Not a scansion thing, but a lot of power in the original comes from the repeated long ‘o’ vowel in the last line.

    Maybe “I owe my soul for a student loan,” or “I own my soul to Wells Fargo.”

  19. How about “Take sixteen credits and what do you get,”
    That is, drop the first “You”

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