Saturday, September 23, 2006

Something, At Long Last

Last night, I stopped by Danny's to deliver a copy of the CD to the indefatigable Jerry Scott, who accepted it with a good grace, and on the way home the word bastardy popped into my head, to the tune of Lennon and McCartney's Yesterday.

At first, I thought it was to be a song about the social phenomenon formerly so termed, which forces itself upon my attention wherever I turn; the condition (now all but irrelevant, legally speaking) of those whom New York now coyly calls non-marital children. By the time I got home, the word had become metaphorical, and the song began to look like a commentary on free-market morality, instead.

Today, the subject shifted ever so slightly to the Law Biz, and here's a first draft:

For a barrister, it's S.O.P.
When you see a groin, apply the knee,
And tell yourself, It's him or me.

As an agent of the I.R.S.—
Slap the widow with a dispossess,
And win your way to sweet success.

For a start,
It doesn't pay.

"Turn the cheek,"
But the meek
Are so passé.

Love's the bottom line in Galilee.
You'll excuse me if I disagree;
The Golden Rule is—bastardy.
Mm, mm, mm, mm—that's the key.

Lyric © Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov

I'm of two minds about passé. Not quite le mot juste, on the one hand; on the other, the sound is echoed in Possibly. On balance, I suppose it must serve. And barrister is used in America only facetiously, but it shares letters with bastardy, which pleases the eye. Neither the amphibrachic attorney nor the trochaic lawyer would do: it's would become it is, which simply isn't colloquial. So I suppose I'm stuck with barrister, too. (I ask you, what's weightier than the concerns of a lyricist?)

What's needed is a reprise, as in the original recording, but with additional lyrics. Perhaps the following could be worked in somewhere:

What the devil are you waiting for?
When you're lawyering, it's total war.
You're either prey—or predator.


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