The 99% Rag: Poem for the Times

The Vorpal Sword of Amendment about to slay the hideous Monster of Corporate Domination



’Twas Year End and the CEOs
Did gamble with their bonus,
All bankrupt were the borrowers
In th’ encampment of the homeless.

They were so poor, they warmed their hands
O’er barrel fires. In threadbare caps
They shivered in the winter cold;
’Twere repossessed their wraps.

The once-proud folks of Middle Class,
Their pensions stripped away;
Their diet was of canned dog food,
Ham-sandwiches and hay.

“It was not always so, my son” —
An ancient man with bleary eye –,
“Folks once enjoyed democracy
And a big piece of the pie.”

“How’d we get reamed like this, eh, Pop?”
The youth replied – a homeless vet;
The 1% too greedy got
They grabbed all they could get.”

“Not content with most of the pie –
Four-fifths, as seen in yonder chart –
They grabbed it all, and I
Lost all that I had in the mart.

A royal panic did ensue,
When the housing bubble burst.
You’d think the world would end, ’tis true,
If Banks weren’t bailed out first.

“The 1% used many a trick
To make their greed seem legal,
They brainwashed folks with FoxNews shtick,
Made war and waved the Eagle.

“And chief among their bag of tricks
Is buying politicians.
Money’s mastered our elections now,
And they’re trying to break the unions.

“But worst of all, they own the courts,
Which uphold legal fictions.
They hold that money equals speech,
And corporations, persons.”

“What ho! I must avenge this now!
Our country is in trouble,
The poor and middle class go down,
T’inflate the rich man’s bubble!”

Beware the 1%, my son,
Their gotchas bite, their clauses catch!
Avoid the Bankster’s grasp and shun
His lightning Dollar-snatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand,
Long time the manxome foe he sought,
’Til rested he by the Citigroup Tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in troubled thought he stood
The Foul Cabal, with eyes of flame,
Rampaged through th’ economy
Foreclosing as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

O Frabjous Day: Illustration by Bryan Talbot

“And hast thou slain the Foul Cabal?
Come to me now, my beamish boy!
O  frabjous day! Callooh, Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

All through the camp the great news spread,
Soon folks they came together.
With tear-gas in their eyes so red,
And festive ’spite the weather.

ALL.  We pledge our solidarity
In the task that lies before us.
And when we take our country back,
We’ll sing in grateful chorus:

(Tune of God Bless America):
We want democracy, honesty , trust.
We insist on our birthright:
A society equal and just.

From the workplace to the homespace,
To the alabaster dome –
Take back America, our home, sweet home!
Re-seat Miss Liberty upon her throne!

Poem and Lyrics copyright © 2011 by Larry Neilson. Tune by Irving Berlin.  Courtesy of the Bourbon and Bongwater Blog.

0 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. 1

    This is, of course, a parody of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky. I beg to offer profuse apologies to the late Prof. Carroll and to the late Mr. Berlin. –Author

  2. 2

    Bravo! Do this nice and Slow and Enunciate!
    What /where is the music?
    Would you want the AFMB (Anti Fascist Meandering Band) to play before or after (or as background during?

  3. Cynthia Lawton-singer #

    Nice work Larry! Don’t these times seem surreal? Like something out of Alice. Strange how it doesn’t stray far from “reality” as we live it today. It seems nightmarishly wrong.