Sunday, February 11, 2007

It's Not Found on YouTube

Because the world only knows Mason Williams on account of "Classical Gas." He was also one of the main writers for the Smother's Brothers Comedy Hour. He writes poetry, short stories, along with some pretty damned good songs. Here's one of my favorites. It's done in a "Talkin' Blues" style. It really doesn't matter what key you use, because, you're talking. The guitar figures are used to keep the meter and rythym of your delivery going. As a matter of fact, it will be an exercise in memory for me to type this without a guitar in my hands. All from memory, if I blow something, sorry Mason. I will have, at this stage, practiced the mistakes so much that it is now how I do it.

J. Edgar Swoop

by Mason Williams

Now, as everyone know, the eagle's supposed
To be the symbol of freedom.
They're very well respected, goverment protected
It's against the law to eat'em.

On dollars and collars and medals for scholars
And flags that wag in the wind,
On cigars you puff and American stuff
The eagle is proudly pinned.

With such a position in American tradition
The eagle's a responsible bird,
And moral delinquencies and idiosyncracies
Are seldom, if ever incurred.

But there once was an eagle who was not very regal
By the name of J. Edgar Swoop
And it was quite often heard "That bird's absurd,
And he ought to be kept in a koop."

An example I'd say might be his toupee
Which he thought made him look debonaire
And if he went to pike, he'd always hitchhike
Never did travel by air.

J. hung around the streets downtown
He said "These mountains are dull.
All's that you meets are occaisional sheeps
Or a couple of high-flying gulls."

But the worst thing of all was that he had the gall
To wear some baggy old knickers
They was pink and blue plaid and they fit him so bad
They caused twitters, guffaws, and snickers.

Word got around in the government town
About J. Edgar and his antics.
A meeting was held and some senators yelled
"Unamerican!" and the usual pedantics.

An F.B.I. director (that's a Federal Bird Inspector)
Was called in to handle the deal.
He said "It seems to me that this eagle's too free,
I suspect he's gone over the hill."

There's only one choice said the people's voice
America's depending on us
We got to find this bird and give him the word
E Pluribus Unum or bust.

So the F.B.I. they set out to try
To make J. claw the line.
He just wouldn't listen so they throwed him prison
To pay for his traitorous crimes.

When things quieted down in the government town
They decided to make and appendage.
Because the symbol of our country was in the penitentiary
We need a new government image.

The measure was born and committees were formed
To find the new Yankee Doodle.
The symbol that best reflected the west
Was none but the Miniature Poodle.

Some argued the facts with what a poodle lacks
"And besides," they said "They's French."
But said the committee "So's the Statue of Liberty."
And it went up before the bench.

The law was passed and it was at last
Entered on the government logs.
J. Edgar didn't care he said "Them Poodles is queer.
And America's gone to the dogs."

Thanks Mason.



Blogger The Fat Lady Sings said...

Do you remember in The Smothers Brothers late 80’s iteration - that marvelous character actor that did the storytelling? Who was that again? I cannot for the life of me recall his name - but I adored him. I loved the whole show - but I always was waiting for him to come on. My husband and I both were angry when the show was cancelled. I grew up listening to the Smothers Brothers when I was a kid. Their politics helped me shape and define my own. Pete Seeger, the music of Woody Guthrie - all of it still remains deep inside me. How marvelous of you to remind me of this. I have, of late been lamenting the lack of intellectualism available as entertainment these days. My childhood was passed in the 60's - and I was old enough (and smart enough) to know exactly what was going on. That – and I grew up in Northern California. All of it was there at my fingertips. *Sigh* Sometimes I miss the heady scent of patchouli.

12:47 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

no, i missed their second shot at TV. as a matter of fact, most of the 80's are a big ass blur to me. big gaps in memory and stuff. i was the type of drunk that could be blackout loaded for months at a time. but the political satire of pat paulson, the writing of mason williams and the staff, their whole thing was incredible. the thing the brothers did was no matter how political they got in their themes they were always hilarious. they never stepped away from the funny. some of the funniest stuff i have ever seen was done by tommy and dick.

3:36 PM  
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