Sixteen Credits

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.)

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I play the drum.

22 thoughts on “Sixteen Credits”

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

    And I can’t even go into bankruptcy

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

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

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

  6. 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.”

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

  8. At the end perhaps ” I earned ME a liberal arts degree and all that got me was bankruptcy” Just for syllablic flow?

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