ISN’T IT A PITY?

This post speaks to the shameful failure of congress to enact even modest gun control legislation supported by a large majority of Americans.

ISN’T IT A PITY?
(To tune of, Isn’t it a Pity?” by George & Ira Gershwin)

 Here we are again
A task undone
Still any fool
Can buy a gun
Isn’t it a pity, that we can’t vote today?

 Join the NRA
They’re not ashamed
If he’s unarmed
The victim’s blamed
Isn’t it pity, that we can’t vote today?

To think of all those sessions wasted
All that cajoling
Telephoning, polling
The turkey’s basted
By the gun lobby
And us? We’re just a hobby.

 Send a message clear
Next time we vote
We have the cure
The antidote
But, isn’t it a pity, that we can’t vote today?

Lyric 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

LESSER KNOWN HEROICS

The events in Boston, West Texas and at Sandy Hook Elementary School started me thinking about our reaction to heroism and horror.  Horrible events seem to awaken our connection to one another that lies dormant during the work-a-day days, weeks, and months of existence.  Suddenly, we hug those we have ignored; we offer assistance to strangers who may have needed help before but were invisible to us.  We say these events bring out the good in people but don’t ask why the good must be brought out.  Heroism itself is unexplainable.  Why will one extraordinary person suddenly throw all caution to the wind to rescue a passerby while others stand frozen?  Does the single act define the person?  I think of Dustin Hoffman’s loser-hero character Bernard Le Plante in the 1992 film, “Hero.”  In James Joyce’s Ulysses, Leopold Bloom makes his Odyssey across Dublin suggesting that simply getting through one day of life takes heroic effort.

  LESSER KNOWN HEROICS
(To tune of “They All Laughed,” by George and Ira Gershwin)

We all get so caught up in our lives and
We don’t treat each other well
Comes a calamity
And we all help

We all walk and pass right by each other
Never pause to say hello
The scene isn’t pretty
And it’s such a pity
We’re too busy making dough

Then comes an earthquake, a blast
And we’re awakened, feeling kind
The crisis rolls past
We go back to being blind

We all praise the hero of a moment
Give a cheer a hip-hooray
But lesser know heroics
Are quite passé
Those little acts of kindness
From day-to-day

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire

EARTH DAY, EARTH DAY

Earth Day is celebrated on April 20.

 EARTH DAY, EARTH DAY
(To tune of the 1890s popular song, “The Sidewalks of New York,” aka “East Side, West Side,” by Charles B. Lawlor and James W. Blake”)

Earth Day, Earth Day
All around the sphere
Are cars emitting carbon
Up into the atmosphere

Feel the changing weather
O’er hill and river and town
The temperatures are rising
Acid rain is falling down

Earth Day, Earth Day
Celebrate, even while
A nuclear reactor
Might irradiate your smile

Energy makes millions
Water we’ll soon have to boil
And if this madness continues
We might all be drinking oil

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

ALL IN THE NAME OF ONE GOD

This post relates to the terrible events in Boston, although it’s not know that religious fanatics perpetrated the act. But, one might rightly ask, “What kind of God allows such horror?”

ALL IN THE NAME OF ONE GOD
(To tune of “Lost in the Stars,” by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson from the 1949 Broadway Show of the same name).

First they killed all the Christians ‘cause they didn’t like them
Then they killed every Muslim in Jerusalem
Then they murdered the Jews knelt in prayer to Ha Shem
All in the name, of one God.

So a child sets a bomb off without any shame
Without feeling guilt, with a purpose to maim
Saying God has commanded, the dead bear the blame
All in the name of one God

Now if God made, everything on earth
Each of his children, would have equal worth
And love would prevail, but of that there’s a dearth
Making what to believe in so hard

So, I’ve been gazing towards the heavens above
Asking whoever is up there, please send down some love
Quiet the lions, awaken the dove
And give us a kind world, a God’s worthy of
We’re all mortals, spare us the rod
All in the name of one God
All in the name of one God.

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

 

PUT A BUCK IN YOUR POCKET, AND GIVE ONE TO UNCLE SAM

For those who’ve waited until the last minute to file, I repeat an old favorite based on an even older favorite salon song made famous by Frank Sinatra.

PUT A BUCK IN YOUR POCKET, AND GIVE ONE TO UNCLE SAM
(To the tune, “That’s One for My Baby, and One More For the Road,” by  Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer)

 Set ‘em up Steve
It’s April the fifteenth, tax filing eve
I’ve got the form here
I need a little booze to loosen the fear
For this line where it shows
How much one owes
Put me on edge, “damn”
You put a buck in your pocket,
And give one to Uncle Sam

Now don’t get me wrong
All my patriotic feelings run strong
That fervor feels nice
But wish that would feel it
For half of the price
It’s like you’d offer a meal
But not if you feel
They would hog the whole ham
You put a buck in your pocket
And give one to Uncle Sam

Where’s it all going?
The government keeps growing
It just grows and it grows
We keep on sowing
Without ever knowing
Where it all goes

Well that does it Steve
The post office is closing
So I’ve got to leave
Thanks for the cheer
I probably will see you
This time next year
That’s assuming that I’m
Not serving some time
If I get in a tax jam
Put a buck in my pocket
And give none to Uncle Sam.

You put a buck in your pocket
And good luck with Uncle Sam

 Lyric © 2012 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

WHEN THE TAXMAN COMES ALONG

This post continues with the theme of the worry that accompanies filing tax returns in the U.S.

WHEN THE TAXMAN COMES ALONG
(To tune of, “The Man That Got Away,” by Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin from 1954 movie “A Star is Born.)

Verses:
The tax man’s coming
He’s whistling and humming
In fear you shiver
He’ll send you up the river
It always happens
When the taxman comes along

No more that savior faire
That attitude, “Why care?”
Deductions from thin-air
Don’t belong

The tax preparer
Who was your secret-sharer,
Has all the papers
That document your capers
He’ll be the witness,
The one who gets you jailed

No more big-ego thrills
From lowering tax bills
Sly shelters from the fraud mills
Have all failed

Bridge:
Good lessons come hard
And the hardest one you’re learning
That fools keep the wheels
Of justice turning

Verse:
The trial is over
So ends a life in clover
You’re no short-termer
The sentence was much firmer
What cash you’d hidden
Bid good-bye, goes the song

 Since the first tax-law was passed
There’s been no one more aghast
Than a scared tax-cheater
When the taxman comes along

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved.

PIG ON THE ROCKS

This post was inspired by the recent story out of China of thousands of pig carcasses dumped into the Huangpu River that is a major source of Shanghai’s drinking water.  The dumping was the result of lower pork prices that made it too expensive for the pig farmers to feed the pigs.  The story is all too familiar: greed for profit and expediency trump common sense and concern for the welfare of others. 

 PIG ON THE ROCKS
(To tune of, “Love on the Rocks,” by Neil Diamond and Gilbert Becaud from the 1980 movie “The Jazz Singer.”)

Verses:
Pig on the rocks
Pour me a drink
It packs a jolt
Bacteria’s stink
That’s what you get
When you let,
Business alone

Huangpu’s the pond
Where pigs made a splash
Shanghai’s not fond
Of pig farmer’s trash
Drink if you dare
The farmers don’t care
Where it flows

Bridge:
They’ll get you to buy it
How they’ll justify it?
“Got to keep the profit high
Of jobs go on the skids.”
And if some group hollers,
Quiet them with dollars,
Ever think what kind of world
We’re leaving to our kids?

Verse:
Pig on the rocks,
What’s to prevent?
When lobbyists buy,
The whole government
Big business too big
And we’re drinking pig
On the rocks.

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

IT’S BEGINNING TO FEEL A LOT LIKE TAX TIME

IT’S BEGINNING TO FEEL A LOT LIKE TAX TIME
(To tune of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” by Meredith Willson (1951))

Verses:
It’s beginning to feel a lot like tax time
April of the year
You’ve been scouring your checkbook for,
Some charity checks and more
Taxes on the homestead you love dear

It’s beginning to feel lot like tax time
Must they ruin the spring?
Feel afraid of the debt you’ll owe,
Afraid Uncle Sam will know
That you have not reported everything

Bridge:
Deduct for the family trip, even the wine that you sip
Claiming everything that you spend or do or use
Driven miles on the family car, no matter to where or how far
Self-assessment clouds the mind like booze
But those who face an audit jam the pews

Verses:
It’s beginning to feel a lot like tax time
Moral codes eschew
Whose to prevent you if,
You take off for a nifty skiff?
And sail away across the ocean blue

It’s beginning to feel a lot like tax time
Bribe your CPA
Stick a pin in a voodoo doll,
Take a loan from your uncle Sol
Then file your tax return and pray

Lyric © 2012, 2013  by Robert S. Steinberg
All rights reserved