Performers seem to feel they must interpret our national anthem when invited to sing before a game.  They slow it down, add oohs-and-ahs, and other extraneous riffs, and get the feeling all wrong. At least of the Fourth of July, let’s save personal renditions for other songs.  Sing or play our national anthem with dignity, as written, in the traditional tempo.

(To the tune of “The Star Spangled Banner

Oh say do you hear?
At the start of the game,
So strange to my ears
Is the anthem she’s singing

To those stripes and bright stars
Now she adds extra bars
And the tempo, so slow,
should be lively and ringing

And those rocket’s red glare
don’t need personal flair.
Sir Francis Scott Key
From the grave feels despair.

Say don’t make a
Star Mangled Banner. We love
how an orchestra plays
that old-style version of.

Lyric 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved


Were congress a car it would have only one gear – political overdrive – no neutral, no reverse, and certainly no work-on-governing drive. With mid-term elections looming near and 2016 positioning already begun, congress is in lock-down.  Immigration reform, tax reform and other serious issues languish while our glorious constitutional institution kicks the can on down the road some more.  I’m republishing a 2011 post, with minor editing changes, to show how some things never change.

(To tune of “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David)

Kicking the can on down the road
When responsibility becomes a heavy load
Congress won’t decide
They just kick that old can again a little bit further

Because, to make a decision takes a stand
And taking a stand in an election year is banned
Campaign suicide
So, they just kick that old can again a little bit further

But they must surely know
They’re putting on a show there
And we know here
A country kicking cans is heading nowhere

Because, kicking the can on down the road
Is just like the hopping of a narrow-minded toad
Feeling satisfied
But toads never make it to the end of a long road
Your feet are free
Kick them out of DC

Lyric © 2011, 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved



The crash of Lois Lerner’s IRS computer and resultant loss of e-mails concerning the Section 501(c) (4) review process controversy, makes me think how nice it would be were IRS to lose my file.

(To tune of “Teenager in Love,” by Doc Pomus and Mort Schuman, for the hit recording by Dion and the Belmonts)

They can’t find Lerner’s e-mails
Wonder how can that be?
If they have lost that female’s
Why can’t they misplace me?
Each night I ask the Gods with a smile
If they’re so flummoxed, why can’t they lose my file?

They always give me trouble
My friends at IRS
If I was in their rubble
I’d worry so much less
Each night I ask the Gods with a smile
If they’re so flummoxed, why can’t they lose my file?

I’d pay no taxes.
Not dread this fear.
My brain relaxes
Just to think I’d disappear

I dream in all my slumber
They’ll lose my SSN
Then I would have no number
And they’re just number men
Each night I ask the Gods with a smile
If they’re so flummoxed, why can’[t they lose my file?

Lyric © 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved



David Fromkin, in his book, “A Peace to End all Peace – The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and Creation of the Modern Middle Ease (1989), attributes much of the troubles in the Middle East today to the Sikes-Picot Agreements (incorporated into the Treaty of Serves) in which the European Allies, following WW I, carved up the Ottoman Empire into spheres of influence that later became nation states.  Basically, they drew lines in the sand without regard to the ethnic or religious composition of the populations. Fromkin’s book begins with a quotation that I paraphrase, “After fighting the War to End all Wars, the allies commenced making a Peace to End all Peace.”

(To tune of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” by Bob Crewe & Bob Gaudio, and made popular by Frankie Valli)
Sounded too good to be true
“Our troops will go marching through
Once we get rid of Saddam
Democracy will be grand
Shia and Sunni won’t hate
The Kurds won’t build their own state”
What Cheney said we would do
Still sounds too good to be true

The secret weapons we’d sought
Of mass destruction proved naught
One great deception so nice
And now we’re paying the price
National debt is a scare
Veterans needing more care
McCain: “there’s still more to do.”
Still Sounds too good to be true

We should have known that
We’d have the mess we’ve got
We should have known that
Thank Sikes and thank Picot
We should have known that
Iraq is lines in the sand

And time has shown that
You reap the wheat you sow
Yes time has shown that
So much we didn’t know
Now, time has shown that
We still don’t understand

And so we’ll work with Iran
Jump in the fire from the pan
Get in between man and God
Giving the Shiites the nod
The Saudi’s making a fuss
And both sides still hating us
Because we haven’t a clue
Still sounds too good to be true

Repeat chorus

Lyric © 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved


With global warming and rising sea levels in the news,  I’m republishing this post, with minor revisions,  from April 27, 2012.

(To tune of “You’ve Gotta Have Heart” by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, from Broadway Musical “Damn Yankees”)

We’re gonna need gills
What the fishes breathe with, gills
With the ocean rising, ditch all your sleds
When over our heads, it spills
Then we’re gonna need gills

We’re gonna need fins
Shiny scales atop our skins
Polar bears down in Antarctica sit
On Glaciers now little hills
Soon we’re gonna need gills

Do you really think you oughta
Build that home up on the shore?
You’ll be living under water
Coral reef’s a lovely floor
The odds are brimming
You’ll be swimming

We’re gonna need gills
Breathing air will be what kills
Under water where the air doesn’t boil
Till some jerk for oil there drills
For now we’re gonna need gills

CO2 can make the sky mad
Mother Nature wouldn’t smile
Watch the Ozone on your I-Pad?
More Tornadoes towns defile
A dead canary
This is scary!

Were gonna need gills
We’ve no climate warming pills
Floods are raging and the rivers all swell
Yet auto ads sell us frills
When we’re gonna need gills

Lyric © 2012 by Robert S. Steinberg
All rights reserved





(To tune of the lead-in to the song, Isn’t it a Pity by George & Ira Gershwin)

Why do we rattle
sabers for a battle,
somewhere overseas,
they’ve fought for centuries?
Sounding weak and foolish.
Saying “do what’s right,”
to Russia, when it’s not our fight

Scolding the Kremlin
when they know, we’ll let them win.
How to waste our clout?
Stand on a soapbox, shout
“Your conduct, we’re not pleased about.”
Your motives? We’ve not figured out.

(To tune of, At the Ballet by Marvin Hamlisch & Edward Kleban from Broadway show “A Chorus Line”)

Meanwhile, everything’s as usual in the Ukraine
Corruption is the mainstay of its gov.
Yes, everything’s as usual in the Ukraine
Vodka is the curative they love.
Now ask: would Plato
tell Kiev to join NATO?
Auguring the fear
of a dangerous Russian bear.
Why’d we stick our nose in?
Why’d we interfere?
When the outcome always has been clear?

Meanwhile, everyone’s applauding at the Kremlin
Crimea’s part of Russia, no suspense.
Putin’s sipping Champagne at the Kremlin.
Obama’s scowl is the only consequence.

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