mr jeKYLL

&

DR hYDe

 

 

"...as good a political and social satirist as any songwriter writing today."

- Ed McKeon, WWUH-FM, The New Britain Herald

mr jeKYLL & DR hYDe started as my end of the millennium statement on politics and social issues. Real satire has a keen bite, and sometimes blurs the line between irony and literal meaning in order to achieve its intended effect. The fact that many people took seriously Jonathan Swift's infamous "Modest Proposal" (in which the good dean advocates eating Irish babies as a way of solving the country's chronic problems of hunger and poverty) was part of its power and lasting value 300 years later. If no one had been taken in, if everyone had seen through Swift's caustic irony, it would have been too tame to be called art. In music, Phil Ochs worked a similar vein of political satire. In songs like "Small Circle of Friends" and the underappreciated "Love Me I'm A Liberal" he takes aim at hypocrites on all bands of the political spectrum.

Satire is inherently dangerous - usually to the artist as much as the status quo. In my title, I have tried to insinuate that, in satire (as in politics gone awry), it's the overeducated ego and not the reptilian id that becomes the dangerous monster.

The whole album used to be available as free downloads at the former mp3.com - several of the songs remained in the Political Humor Top 10 chart there for months, finally totalling over 70,000 downloads and listens. I'm looking for a new home for them. Meanwhile, on my home page there are links to a few of the album's newer tracks. Or you can buy it from me as a made-to-order CDR for $10 including shipping. The tracks are mostly live or basement recordings and the whole thing is not properly mastered, but this rough treatment probably fits the songs best.

The collection may not be appropriate for all listeners, but then politics, sex and religion never did make polite conversation. It is dedicated to Phil Ochs.

Listeners should use their discretion.

 

mr jeKYLL & DR hYDe

Tracklist (links go to lyrics)

1 Shadow Government (2:28)
2 King George III (2:52)
3 Hole In the Sky (3:05)
4 Longhaired Radical Socialist Jew (3:16) (from WWUH's Home for the Holidays)
5 Talking Hypothetical American Pastime Blues (2:22)
6When Hiroshima Comes to Disneyland (2:48) (hidden track from Mozart's Money)
7Quiet of the Night (4:20) (from Barehanded, 50-50 Music)
8 Gonna Be A Southern Baptist (1:59)
9 John Wayne Was A Thespian (2:19)
10 Tinkie Winkie (0:21)
11 Lacrimae Laramie (3:43)
12 How Long (5:25)
13 Bill's Dick (2:17) (Live from WWUH's The Folk Next Door 8)
14 Dreaded Phenomenology Singalong* by Mitchell Fitzko (2:54)
(Live from Postcrypt, 50-50 Music)
15 This Mountain (3:55) (Live from WWUH's Home for the Holidays)
16 Watertowers (4:38) (from Barehanded, 1991, 50-50 Music)

 

*all songs by Hugh Blumenfeld except: "Phenomenology" by Mitchell Fitzko 2004 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music for more info: www.hughblumenfeld.com

 

Shadow Government

We have a shadow government that's sworn to secrecy
Its business is no business of the likes of you and me
Nobody knows who's in it, they've been carefully selected
by partisan appointees who themselves were not elected...

They hold top level meetings at undisclosed locations
to suspend the constitution and sustain the corporations
Their minutes, notes and memos can't be shared, and by the way
does anybody know the current whereabouts ..... of Kenneth Lay

It's national security
above the public scrutiny
a policy of legal coup d'etat
We have a shadow government -
- Imagine that

Now terrorists are evil, unpredictable and cruel
It seems as if they must've gone to some assassin school...
They might use nukes or boxcutters or some new anthrax strain
we were developing to use on them -- they must be insane

So we have a shadow government in case of an attack
They're safe in guarded compounds, there's nothing that they lack
They're ready to take charge if Washington is hit with bomb or plague -
does anybody out there still remember .... Alexander Haig

CHORUS

So tell me all you friends out there how could you disagree
with such a handsome president with his hard-earned Yale degree
With plans to crush recalcitrant regimes so far from home
Aren't you reassured to know he has a plan - to replace our own

CHORUS

2002 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music

-----

(when hiroshima comes to disneyland)

by hugh blumenfeld (title by mark dann)


well the kids will all get crayons to trace their shadows on the walls
& colored paper cranes inscribed with names
there'll be cranes, cranes flying overhead on wires
on the banners from the parking lots on in
& there'll be origami lessons on demand
when hiroshima comes to disneyland

& at 8:15 fthe gates will open for the fireball & the omnimax
you can watch oppie translate sanskrit & einstein playing violin
& the twenty-five mangled maidens
will all be made beautiful again
kabuki players whiter than a thousand suns will fold their fans
when hiroshima comes to disneyland

& every night at sunset poli-sci majors trying to pay off student loans
will stage re-enactments of vj day in period clothes -
watch out - sailors will go around kissing all the women in the street
& they''ll praise the lives we saved so we could go to vietnam
when hiroshima comes to disneyland

c'mon wave to hirohito
wave to the fish-bellied samurai
(hai hai hai) - goodbye, goodbye

I'm gonna get myself a little boy action doll before I head back to the hotel
enola gay glider kits for the kids & some fused los alamos glass
& when the fireworks finale comes
they'll say - just look away, jack
& we'll shield our eyes with our transparent hands
when hiroshima comes to disneyland

we'll shield our eyes, with our transparent hands
when hiroshima comes ...... to disneyland


1995 Hugh Blumenfeld

-----

long-haired radical socialist Jew


Well Jesus was a homeless lad
With an unwed mother and an absent dad
And I really don't think he would have gotten that far
If Newt, Pat and Jesse had followed that star

Refrain: So let's all sing out praises to
That long-haired radical socialist Jew

When Jesus taught the people he
Would never charge a tuition fee
He just took some fishes and some bread
And made up free school lunches instead
So let's all sing out praises to....

He healed the blind and made them see
He brought the lame folks to their feet
Rich and poor, any time, anywhere
Just pioneering that free health care
So let's all sing out praises to....

Jesus hung with a low-life crowd
But those working stiffs sure did him proud
Some were murderers, thieves and whores
But at least they didn't do it as legislators
So let's all sing out praises to....

(Modulate to A)

Jesus lived in troubled times
the religious right was on the rise
Oh what could have saved him from his terrible fate?
Separation of church and state.
So let's all sing out praises to....

Sometimes I fall into deep despair
When I hear those hypocrites on the air
But every Sunday gives me hope
When pastor, deacon, priest, and pope
Are all singing out their praises to
Some long-haired radical socialist Jew.

They're singing out their praises to..oooo..oooo..
Some long-haired radical socialist Jew.

1996 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music


-----

lacrimae laramie


underneath God's own big sky
a man stands bound
on stony ground
cut and beaten, left to die
arms lashed wide
crucified

and the mercury falls like an angel
and the wind cries all night through the fence:
o laramie
lacrimae laramie
all across the pastures of plenty
where the cowboys embrace in their tents

Whose shepherd was he then?
You cursed his wounds
and the young men he knew
his crime was loving them
but the fire he drew
was for loving you

and the mercury falls, falls like an angel
and the wind cries all night through the fence:
o laramie
lacrimae laramie
across the pastures of plenty
where the cowboys embrace in their tents


10/14/98

1998 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music


-------

How Long


I'VE WALKED AROUND, and I've talked around
All the streets of this old milltown I call home
And I've seen some things, and I've dreamed some things
On the streets of this old milltown I call home

I saw Eugene Debs rise up on Wobblie legs
I heard Amy Hooker dressing down American Thread
They took up the strikers' signs from back in 1925
When the cutbacks at the mill ate our grandparents alive
But nobody would believe that their mothers rolled their sleeves
Or that their fathers fought the war while someone else's owned the store
Or that the Puerto Ricans stand where the Polish stood before
And the Polish people landed where the French had washed ashore
And the French took the places
Of those red Irish faces
With their corned beef and their cabbage
That made them so savage

CHORUS:
And how long
will the mill wheels spin?
How long
till the cloth wears thin?
How long
till we walk the line again?

I've been up and down, kept my ear to the ground
On the streets of this old milltown I call home

Where the commerce always flags and the tail always wags
And men in yellow ribbons walk around in drag
And mothers teach their sons the history of the Huns
While their daughters steal the apron strings and learn to make firm buns
They broke Old MacDonald's arm, stuck a needle in his farm
But when the junkies get on line the papers turn in the alarm
The town council got frantic when they dredged the Willimantic
They found the skeletons of mill hands and said - Isn't it romantic?
So they built a museum where the people never see 'em
Tie the purse strings up in knots, and pay consultants a per diem
They say dust to dust, they say ash to ash
And burn garbage by the trailer park to bury the white trash

CHORUS

But every week or so I go to Everyday Books
Where the anarchists and lesbians exchange knowing looks
You can read the news from Salvador, eat Alice Toklas Pie
Winky brings you coffee or else Allison drops by
And on this enterprising station they play Rahsan Roland Kirk
And it's jazz all afternoon until the poets get to work
The Main Street renters loiter, they mill and reconnoiter
But the greeters out at Walmart make the town folk paranoider
There are pamphlets on the Curb-
stones, this is no bourgeois suburb,
Don't you think the renovated Painted Ladies look superb?
You can hear Spanish in the street
Come on move to the Latin beat
You can find organic food
(Or hear a new song debuted)
And the falls still descend
At the great river bend
And I swear if I can find a job I'd live here till the end

CHORUS


1991 Hugh Blumenfeld

--------

Talking Hypothetical American Pastime Blues

I was hoping for another World Series
With the Indians vs. the Braves
I loved the tomahawk chops and the teepees
And the war whoops with the waves
But I'm really looking forward to the series
When we finally get to choose
Between the Detroit Negroes
And the fighting New York Jews
- I can see the headlines now: "Negroes Steal Opener,"
"Jews Trade Bonds for Late Draft Pick."

C'mon we'll all have a good time
It doesn't matter if you're White or a Goy
The right field stands'll be shouting "Yo!"
Echoed by a doleful "Oy!"
And everyone will wanna see Sambo
Do the moonwalk when Detroit scores
And at the 7th Inning Stretch the Jewboys
Will all get up and lead the Hora
- have a hot dog... have a cold beer.... havanagila, you know, whatever...

I'm sure it's gonna be a close contest
The competition's gonna be fierce
Between the vendors selling bagels and cream cheese
And the ones yelling "Fried Chicken here!"
And you can get one of those big hooded sweatshirts
That say "Detroit #1 No Jive"
I'll get one of those big plastic noses
And start chanting "Let's Go Tribes!"
- The marketing possibilities are endless -
yeah, I'm Jewish - what makes you ask?

Now you may say I'm crazy
And you may call me a boor
But it'd be a shame if sports team names
Can't have local color no more.
Yeah the JDL and the NAACP
Are gonna raise a fuss
But I wish they'd keep the politics out of baseball
And stop bothering the rest of us.
- Now all New York has to worry about is those San Francisco Fairies...
They blow it every time.

1995 Hugh Blumenfeld

MORE LYRICS

Additional lyrics can be found here. These political songs deal with sex and sexuality, and may not be suitable for young readers. Viewer discretion advised.


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