I’m Changing My Name to …

In 1979 Chrysler came close to bankruptcy and asked the US Congress for an emergency loan. Congress then passed the “Chrysler Corporation Loan Guarantee Act of 1979” and the US military started buying Chrysler pickup trucks. Even though Chrysler was lacking innovative cars, this helped to avoid bankruptcy. (Sounds familiar so far?)

As a reaction the US singer-songwriter Tom Paxton wrote his song “I’m changing my name to chrysler”, parodying what had happened. The same song got covered numerous times, of which I like the version of Arlo Grthrie (famous for “Alices Restaurant“) best.

I’m Changing My Name to Chrysler
by Tom Paxton

Oh, the price of gold is rising out of sight,
And the dollar is in sorry shape tonight.
What a dollar use to get us
Now won’t get a head of lettuce,
No, the economic forecast isn’t bright.
But amidst the clouds I spot a shining ray,
I begin to glimpse a new and better way.
I’ve devised a plan of action,
Worked it down to the last fraction,
And I’m going into action here today:

Chorus:
I am changing my name to Chrysler,
I am going down to Washington D.C.
I will tell some power broker,
“What you did for Iacocca
Would be perfectly acceptable to me.”
I am changing my name to Chrysler,
I am leaving for that great receiving line.
When they hand a million grand out,
I’ll be standing with my hand out,
Yes sir, I’ll get mine.

When my creditors come screaming for their dough,
I’ll be proud to tell them all where they can go.
They won’t have to yell and holler,
They’ll be paid to the last dollar
Where the endless streams of money seem to flow.
I’ll be glad to show them all what they must do.
It’s a matter of a simple form or two.
It’s not just remuneration, it’s a lib’ral education,
Makes you kind of glad that I’m in debt to you.

Chorus

Since the first amphibian crawled out of the slime,
We’ve been struggling in an unrelenting climb.
We were hardly up and walking
Before money started talking,
And it’s said that failure is an awful crime.
It’s been that way a millenium or two;
Now it seems there is a different point of view.
If you’re a corporate Titanic
And your failure is gigantic,
Down in Congress there’s a safety net for you.

A few decades later I stumble around on the internets and discovere this song, thinking

“Oh how fitting, nothing really changed …”.

Trying to get a more detailed picture of the song and it’s creator, I quickly found out, that there was an updated version: “I’m changing my name to Fannie Mae” which references recent events in the world economy, like the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. Again it was quickly covered by Arlo Guthrie, who happens to be a supporter of one of the current candidates for presidency Ron Paul.

I am Changing my Name to Fannie Mae
by Tom Paxton

Oh the price of gold is rising out of sight
And the dollar is in sorry shape tonight
What the dollar used to get us now won’t buy a head of lettuce
No the economic forecast isn’t right
But amidst the clouds I spot a shining ray
I can even glimpse a new and better way
And I’ve devised a plan of action worked it down to the last fraction
And I’m going into action here today

Chorus:
I am changing my name to Fannie Mae
I am going down to Washington D.C.
I’ll be glad they got my back
‘Cause what they did for Freddie Mac
Will be perfectly acceptable to me
I am changing my name to Fannie Mae
I am headed for that great receiving line
So when they hand a trillion grand out
I’ll be standing with my hand out
I’ll get mine

When my creditors are screaming for their dough
I’ll be proud to tell them all where they can go
They won’t have to scream and holler
They’ll be paid to the last dollar
Where the endless streams of money seem to flow
I’ll be glad to tell them all what they can do
It’s a matter of a simple form or two
It’s not just remuneration it’s a liberal education
Ain’t you kind of glad that I’m in debt to you

Chorus

Since the first amphibians crawled out of the slime (of the slime!)
We’ve been struggling in an unrelenting climb
We were hardly up and walking before money started talking
And it’s sad that failure is an awful crime
It’s been that way for a millennium or two
But now it seems that there’s a different point of view
If you’re a corporate titanic and your failure is gigantic
Down in Congress there’s a safety net for you

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAG0XMRty5Y[/youtube]

It’s always good not to loose once sense of humour in strange times 😉
Cheers, Tim

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