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Song Parodies -> "Massachusetts (Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.)"

Original Song Title:


Original Performer:

Bee Gees

Parody Song Title:

"Massachusetts (Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.)"

Parody Written by:

Fiddlegirl and Tommy Turtle

The Lyrics

It is an old adage, but true, that the apple oft does not fall far from the tree. This was all-too-true in the case of the Kennedy clan. And while the legacy of the misdeeds of the Kennedys unfortunately continues forever, this special series does not. There are many more sacred cows to roast - and parties to throw :)

For more on the Kennedys, please visit our online catalog, your local library, or the police blotter.

Papa Joe had friends in Massachusetts
Fortune selling stocks: insider trade [1]
Some allege, bootlegged hooch in Massachusetts [2]
The dough accepted, Mafioso paid.

Tried to hitch his star to Honey Fitz’s [3]
Marry Rosie, just the thing to do
Ev’ry door opened up in Massachusetts
To curry favor, maybe bribed a few

FDR rewarded contributions
But not with a Cab'net post, as hoped
Why entrust SEC to crook from ‘Chusetts?
"A crook,... it takes one ... to catch one": reply, quote [4]

Kennedy, Boston'ian Irish-Cath'lic
Faith important, long as purpose served
But when Coughlin crossed man from Massachusetts,
Pope, Bishop, Prez made sure: no longer heard. [5]

Fascist Papa K. supported Hitler
Named himself Ambassador of Peace [6]
Would Herr Adolf meet Joe from Massachusetts?
The murdered Jews? No worry, just appease. [7]

Boston Globe reported, 1940,
Nazi troop invasions; Joe: no fear.
Democracy gone; save self; it’s useless
The Nazi Party? To Joe, fine future here [8]

Outcry huge and rancor unexpected,
Roosevelt distanced self from Joe, it's true [9]
He sent Joe packing back to Massachusetts
To make his plans for Generation Two [10]

Eldest son was groomed for top position
'Spite of Pop, lost life in war: sad thing
Papa Joe, three more sons in Massachusetts
His second one: J.F., the newborn king [11]

Now you know the source of all those stories
"Kennedys are cursed", you might have seen
Evil seed: Papa Joe from Massachusetts
Gone: Massachusetts: Joe Kennedy's machine

All will remember Joe's pollution
Tried to dismember Constitution
Burning, the embers: retribution

[fade away, as the Kennedy dynasty fades away; unfortunately, the legacy of their evils will never fade] [12]

[1] In 1919, he joined the prominent stock brokerage firm of Hayden, Stone & Co. where he became an expert in dealing in the unregulated stock market of the day, engaging in tactics that would later be labeled insider trading and market manipulation.

For example, "He helped establish the Libby-Owens-Ford stock pool, an arrangement in which Kennedy and colleagues created a scarcity of Libby-Owens-Ford stock to drive up the value of their own holdings in the stock, using inside information and the public's lack of knowledge. Pool operators would bribe journalists to present information in the most advantageous manner. Attempts to corner stocks were made that would cause the price to go up, and bear raids could cause the price to collapse downward."

The Michael Milligan/Bernie Madoff of his day, for milkin'em, and he madoff with tons of crooked money. His "punishment?" Keep reading.

[2] "Kennedy was, according to unproven rumors, a Rum Runner or an importer of alcoholic drinks from Canada and Cuba into the USA during Prohibition. After Prohibition ended, Kennedy consolidated an even larger fortune when his company, Somerset Importers, became the exclusive American agent for Gordon's Dry Gin and Dewar's Scotch. Anticipating the end of Prohibition, he assembled a large inventory of stock, which he later sold for a profit of millions of dollars when Prohibition was repealed in 1933."

Are we to believe that he "assembled this inventory" somewhere outside of the United States?

"... Canada, to whose liquor manufacturing and importing/exporting industry U.S. Prohibition was a major windfall. Booze by the ton began flowing south across the "undefended" border. It did so by land, air, and sea to the waiting hands of entrepreneurial crooks with the organizational means to warehouse it and set up supply lines across the USA. The principal Canadian figure was Samuel Bronfman, founder of Seagrams, who transported booze to Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Stevedores loaded the booze onto ships, which soon departed for American waters and unloaded in U.S. harbors, ***especially Boston.*** (emphasis added).

" ... (A researcher) began a study of the archived shipping manifests and other paper trails in Halifax and Boston. It took about a month to solidly link Sam Bronfman with Joseph Kennedy. It is instructive to read the first four chapters of 'Times to Remember' by Rose Kennedy and the initial chapters of 'The Bronfman Dynasty' by Peter Newman, switching between the two books. Two families, each connected with the liquor industry."

No, I don't like printing unproven rumors, and much prefer "just the facts", as with the TeddyDitties. But there apparently was so much evidence of this at the time, and was (and still is), so widely believed, that one is inclined to believe that where there's this much smoke, there's fire. ... And please note that we used properly the journalistic "alleged", unlike some (not all) of the Leftist rants that claim to be fact without a shred of evidence to support them.

[3] In 1914, Kennedy married Rose Fitzgerald, the eldest daughter of John F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, a Democratic mayor of Boston and probably the most recognized politician in the city.

[4] "Kennedy's first major involvement in a national political campaign was his support in 1932 for Franklin D. Roosevelt's bid for the Presidency. He donated, loaned, and raised a substantial amount of money for the campaign. Roosevelt rewarded him with an appointment as the inaugural Chairman of the new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Kennedy had hoped for a Cabinet post, such as Treasury. After Franklin Roosevelt called Joe to Washington to clean up the Securities and Exchange Commission, somebody asked FDR why he had tapped such a crook. 'Takes one to catch one,' replied Roosevelt."

So even FDR knew Kennedy was a crooked trader. There you have it, straight from the God Of Liberals' mouth.

[5] Father Charles Coughlin was an Irish-Canadian priest in Detroit, who became perhaps the most prominent Roman Catholic spokesman on political and financial issues in the 1930s, with a radio audience that reached millions every week. A strong supporter of Roosevelt in 1932, Coughlin broke with the president in 1934 and became a bitter opponent in his weekly, anti-communist, anti-Federal Reserve and isolationist radio talks. Roosevelt sent Kennedy and other prominent Irish Catholics to try to tone down Coughlin. ... Kennedy strongly supported the New Deal and believed as early as 1933 that Coughlin was "becoming a very dangerous proposition" as an opponent of Roosevelt ..." In 1936, Kennedy worked with Roosevelt, Bishop Francis Spellman and Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII) to shut Coughlin down.

Ah, yes, the American Way. If someone disagrees with you, you get the President, the Bishop, and the Cardinal (and future Pope) to shut him up. It's called "Freedom Of Repression Of Speech". ... ... not to mention "The combination of Church and State", as enshrined by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution. The Church gets to decide who is allowed to speak and who isn't, finally catching us up to that advanced and enlightened period, the Dark Ages.

[6] Kennedy rejected the warnings of Winston Churchill that compromise with Nazi Germany was impossible; instead he supported Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement in order to stave off a second world war that would be a more horrible "Armageddon" than the first. Throughout 1938, as the Nazi persecution of Jews intensified, Kennedy attempted to obtain an audience with Adolf Hitler. Shortly before the Nazi aerial bombing of British cities began in September 1940, Kennedy sought a personal meeting with Hitler, again **without State Department approval**, "to bring about a better understanding between the United States and Germany."

Yes, the Catholics have always been the foremost leaders in protecting Jews, as, say, during the Spanish Inquisition. .... Didn't Bill Clinton just have an unauthorized meeting with a foreign head of state?

[7] According to Harvey Klemmer, who served as one of Kennedy's embassy aides, Kennedy habitually referred to Jews as "kikes or sheenies." Kennedy allegedly told Klemmer that "[some] individual Jews are all right, Harvey, but as a race they stink. They spoil everything they touch." When Klemmer returned from a trip to Germany and reported the pattern of vandalism and assault on Jews by Nazis, Kennedy responded, "Well, they brought it on themselves."

On June 13, 1938, Kennedy met with Herbert von Dirksen, the German ambassador in London, who claimed in Berlin that Kennedy had told him that "it was not so much the fact that we want to get rid of the Jews that was so harmful to us, but rather the loud clamor with which we accompanied this purpose. [Kennedy] himself fully understood our Jewish policy." Kennedy's main concern with such violent acts against German Jews as Kristallnacht was that they generated bad publicity in the West for the Nazi regime, a concern he communicated in a letter to Charles Lindbergh.

Kennedy had a close friendship with Nancy Astor; the correspondence between them is reportedly replete with anti-Semitic tropes. As Edward Renehan notes:

"As fiercely anti-Communist as they were anti-Semitic, Kennedy and Astor looked upon Adolf Hitler as a welcome solution to both of these "world problems" (Nancy's phrase).... Kennedy replied that he expected the "Jew media" in the United States to become a problem, that "Jewish pundits in New York and Los Angeles" were already making noises contrived to "set a match to the fuse of the world."

Oh, those shifty, cunning, conniving Jews! *Telling* the world about the genocide of their race, just to stir up trouble. The nerve! ... and, uh, excuse me, wasn't that fuse already lit by Papa Joe's good friend, Adolf?

Kennedy told reporter Joe Dinneen:

"It is true that I have a low opinion of some Jews in public office and in private life. That does not mean that I... believe they should be wiped off the face of the earth... Jews who take an unfair advantage of the fact that theirs is a persecuted race do not help much... Publicizing unjust attacks upon the Jews may help to cure the injustice, but continually publicizing the whole problem only serves to keep it alive in the public mind."

Hmmm... squelch the truth... vaguely familiar... where have we written about that in the past two days? Suppose one substituted Blacks ("Negroes" at the time) in that sentence?

"When Dinneen wrote 'The Kennedy Family', he was pressured to remove these quotations from the book by John F. Kennedy himself. Dineen complied."... The beloved martyr, President John F. Kennedy, champions free speech, as he learned to do from his father.

To our favorite Liberal Democrat and Kennedy supporter, and spokesperson here for others: Do you, then, support Fascism, Hitler, the murder of Jews and derogatory references to them, and the suppression of free speech, especially documented quotes? Very much looking forward to your answer. Yes or no, please.

[8] Kennedy argued strongly against giving aid to Britain during WWII. (All those here from the UK, raise your hand. Or just your middle finger.)

"Democracy is finished in England. It may be here," stated Ambassador Kennedy in the Boston Sunday Globe of November 10, 1940. In that one simple statement, Joe Kennedy ruined any future chances of becoming US president, effectively committing political suicide. While bombs fell daily on the UK, Nazi troops occupied Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France, Ambassador Kennedy unambiguously and repeatedly stated his belief that the war was not about saving democracy from National Socialism (Nazism) or Fascism. ... In the now-infamous, long, rambling interview with two newspaper journalists, Louis M. Lyons of the Boston Globe and Ralph Coghlan of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kennedy opined:

"It's all a question of what we do with the next six months. The whole reason for aiding England is to give us time." ... "As long as she is in there, we have time to prepare. It isn't that [Britain is] fighting for democracy. That's the bunk. She's fighting for self-preservation, just as we will if it comes to us... I know more about the European situation than anybody else, and it's up to me to see that the country gets it."

[9] "Kennedy had close ties with Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy.
When McCarthy became a dominant voice of anti-Communism starting in 1950, Kennedy contributed thousands of dollars to McCarthy, and became one of his major supporters. In the Senate race of 1952, Joseph apparently worked a deal so that McCarthy, a Republican, would not make campaign speeches for the GOP ticket in Massachusetts. In return, Congressman John F. Kennedy, running for the Senate seat, would not give any anti-McCarthy speeches that his liberal supporters wanted to hear."

John F. Kennedy, Paragon of Integrity. A Profile In Courage, indeed!

In 1953, at Joseph Kennedy's urging, McCarthy hired Robert Kennedy (age 27) as a senior staff member of the Senate's investigations subcommittee, which McCarthy chaired. In 1954, when the Senate was threatening to condemn McCarthy, Senator John Kennedy faced a dilemma. "How could I demand that Joe McCarthy be censured for things he did when my own brother was on his staff?" asked JFK. It's called "Conflict of interest", Dude, and also "nepotism", and some other things that aren't nice to say.

Attention Liberal Dems: Did you know that your patriarch hero was a strong supporter of the "witch-hunting" anti-Communist, Joe McCarthy? And that RFK worked for McCarthy, thanks to Papa? Are you beginning to see from where the children got their "values", such as they were?

[10] Having ruined his own lifelong ambition to be President, Pop started grooming the first-born male child to be the next King. Unfortunately, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. lost his life bombing his father's friends in Germany. Perhaps that was one reason Sr. was so opposed to the war -- so his precious, privileged sons' lives would not be at risk? Both FG's and TT's ancestors risked theirs. One of TT’s was flying bombing raids over Germany in a squadron of ten planes. The other nine were shot down, no survivors.... Anyone else have relatives who did what Joe didn't want his sons doing, i. e., defending the "dead" concept of democracy?

[11] When John F. Kennedy was asked about the level of involvement and influence that his father had held in his razor-thin presidential victory, JFK would joke that on the eve before the election, his father had asked him the exact number of votes he would need to win - there was no way he was paying "for a landslide."

[12] Not to say that some of the sons at some times did not do some good. For example, the U.S. would not have been so likely to attempt the Moon expedition in the absence of JFK's charismatic, challenging speech at Rice University in 1962:

"We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy - but because they are hard! Because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone and one we intend to win."

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." I think that describes Teddy's supporters - and most of the Kennedy-worshipers in general -- perfectly. Well said, John.

"The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones."
("Julius Caesar", Act III, Scene 2, by William Shakespeare)

With a father like Joseph P. Kennedy, it's to his sons' credit that they didn't turn out even worse. Cursed, indeed.

© 2009 Fiddlegirl and Tommy Turtle. All rights reserved. E-mail:

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Guy - September 02, 2009 - Report this comment
FG & TT - Fine write here - the footnotes tell the story, There was a lot in there that I had not realized about that clan. Interesting indeed. You two really did your homework on this one and the parody is just over the top. What a grand finale.
blackjack21 - September 02, 2009 - Report this comment
Outstanding parody and a great history lesson, I also learned some new things in there. Joe Pa was quite the piece of work and you can certainly see where his sons got their attitude and morals. Great series you two.
Timmy1000 - September 02, 2009 - Report this comment
I had read a number of things about Papa before, but thanks for the new info in the footnotes. I knew he was pretty much a crook. Write was well done and to the point.
Pappa Joe's Pizzaria - September 02, 2009 - Report this comment
Hell, with all this 'truthiness' out in the open, no one's ever gonna patronize me again! Camelot--sham-a-lot--'bama-got!
Pappa Joe Reduxarrhea - September 02, 2009 - Report this comment
Somehow I neglected to mention just how good this was! Fantastically researched lyrical histor/hyster-ical production... Thanks for taking the mythtory out of some of his murkier doings... and given his extramarital hy(men)jinx, maybe historians should revise that hackneyed Arthurian allusion to "Came'alot"!
metaphorsbwithu - September 02, 2009 - Report this comment
Very impressive. I'm familiar with some of this but it makes me want to dig a little more. One thing's for sure, having virtually unlimited trust funds of which to live off, no matter the source, sure doesn't guarantee happiness. 555's to you.
Mark Scotti - September 02, 2009 - Report this comment
"It's a family "Affair", it's a family of "scares", It's a family of "swears", of that family.....beware!!! Great write!!!
John Barry - September 02, 2009 - Report this comment
Great parody. But sadlyl without Teddy around our FUBAR healthcare system hasn't got a prayer of being fixed.
Max Power - September 02, 2009 - Report this comment
Did you know his daughter was lobomotized? Gives you another idea...
Fiddlegirl - September 02, 2009 - Report this comment
Guy: We have TT to thank for the meticulous research, and for the time taken to add all the footnotes. Frankly, FG's attention span does not typically allow for such fine detail, although she often wishes that it would. :)

BJ21: Indeed. There have actually been some good biographies written in recent years (as people gather courage enough to write and publish them), which are quite enlightening. And, of course, full of irresistible dirt-dishing for those who enjoy that sort of thing (like moi!)

T1K: That he was, among a few other things. Thanks for v/c!

Pappa Joe's: I assume you're the one who makes the dough-- and gets the biggest slice of the pie possible! Thanks for hilarious v/c! (LOL @ Came-alot!)

M4: It does make for interesting reading, though you may want to have your antacids handy ;). As for money not guaranteeing happines, you're so right. Of course, it doesn't automatically guarantee misery either... Why can't I get chosen to research that?

Mark S: Funny, as always! Thanks for v/c.

John: Thanks for v/c. I expect the end result may be quite different from what he had in mind. But the wheels of life and time do turn, and no one is "irreplaceable", esp. in leadership.

MP: Yes, a very sad story. Thankfully, his daughter did try to atone in some small measure by founding the Special Olympics program. But the truth about Rosemary is sickening. How dare a Kennedy not be "perfect"?
TT @ FG - September 03, 2009 - Report this comment
Thanks for the invitation to "add to your comments" but there's hardly anything else to say, you said it so well. ... except maybe to tie TT's parody "Norma Jeane" (Marilyn Monroe) to the romanticized Came'a-lot that the media created of the King and Queen. Wonder how Queen Jackie liked her King shtupping actresses and mob molls on the side? If only the public had known back then... and if he hadn't been killed, it might have come out. Interesting to specul(um)ate ... .anticipating Clinton by 30+ years. Good job, Fid. (and add my LOL @ PJP!)

Oh, and about that credit: Thanks, but hey, I do the research, you do the replies. Yours are so much more charming than mine :) ... works for me xo :D
Phil Alexander - September 03, 2009 - Report this comment
Kennedy sr. was an appalling piece of work, wasn't he? I agree with your last note - it is impressive that his sons didn't carry on that particular set of family traditions.
Tommy Turtle - September 03, 2009 - Report this comment
Phil Alexander: No, they just carried on other evil family traditions: Phil-andering (no offense lol) -- Sr. had an affair with actress Gloria Swanson; vote-buying; and esp. with Teddy, as we've been ripping and riffing since Monday, an alcoholic who took a 28-yr-old fem staffer for a ride (literally and figuratively), drunkenly ran off the road into the water, escaped, didn't call the cops, and deliberately let her drown, as later evidence shows she survived for some time in the air remaining in the car.

Manslaughter, they call it -- and he not only walked, he remained a US Senator for the rest of his life (30+ yrs) -- which speaks poorly for the US Senate.

Realize you're not into US politics -- I don't follow UK much, either, other than who wins PM -- but it's juicy dirt that makes your recent scandal seem like a schoolboy's practical joke, should you care to read our series:

rob - September 05, 2009 - Report this comment
great work on this parody. love the fascist papa K line. keep the truth a commin'
Tommy Turtle - September 06, 2009 - Report this comment
rob: We did two others on the Chappaquiddick incident, which I don't believe you've seen yet:

"The Night Ted Drove, Kopechne Drowned"
and "Chappaquiddick"

Probably enough on that topic -- four parodies altogether -- but appreciate your votes and comments, and whenever there are similar atrocities in need of skewering, we'll keep that truth a comin' -- count on it!
Fiddlegirl - September 06, 2009 - Report this comment
@ Phil: He was that-- in spades. And the deeper you dig, the more skeletons you find.

@ TT: It gets even more unbelievable. Did you know Papa was actually known to bring his mistresses home for dinner, forcing Rose to play "hostess"... and setting one heck of an example for his boys?
As for the Senate career, you reminded me of a favorite line from the movie "Clue"...

Miss Scarlet: I hardly think it will enhance your reputation at the U.N. Professor Plum, if it's revealed that you have been implicated not only in adultery with one of your patients, but in her death and the deaths of five other people.

Prof. Plum: You don't know what kind of people they have at the U.N., I might go up in their estimation.

@ rob: Thanks, as long as free expression is still allowed here, you can count on us! :)
TT @ FG - September 07, 2009 - Report this comment
No, but I'm envious that he got away with it. Most of us couldn't. (j/k! j/k! :) ) ... It *does* explain where the boys got their "morals", doesn't it?... and such good Catholics, too -- is adultery not a mortal sin?

Re: Clue: So Prof. Plum is actually EK? Who knew? ... and I don't think much more highly of the UN than of the US Senate, which they should have used in "Clue" instead. LOL! :) :)
Andy P - October 06, 2010 - Report this comment
Fine job, as usual, in telling a story via parody and tome. A little Oh, TT to do so many extra verses.

TT, I bet that it annoys you when you notice a mistake on one of your own parodies. It bugs me when I do it on one of mine. Being that you so kindly pointed out my pail mistake a few months back, I thought I'd point out the one in this one. You left off the "With" in front of "Democracy gone" - And the lights/With democ & all went down/racy gone. Hopefully, that'll bug you for a little while :) I didn't dock you a point for such a small niggle.
Being that I followed your link here, here's one of mine that went out on a day that you wasn't around. I bet you know the OS.
Tommy Turtle - October 06, 2010 - Report this comment
Andy P: That was one of the verses written by Fiddlegirl. I'll make sure that she's suitably punished. ;) [1]

Thanks for pointing that out. As for length: As you can see from the lower comments, there was plenty more material about his evils -- we thought stopping here was an act of mercy to readers. :-)
    Thanks for v/c. Will check yours out some time -- haven't even been to the site yet today; just got your e-mail. Cheers.

[1[ Another advantage of collab -- blame all mistakes on the other writer. ;-D
Andy P - October 09, 2010 - Report this comment
I've just noticed in the Oxford English that OTT is a UK only contraction of "over the top". Probably means that you don't use that one in the US, and went over your head. Let me guess, "over your head" is a UK only expression and probably went....... :)
Tommy Turtle - June 19, 2011 - Report this comment
Andy P: Sorry I missed this. OTT is common here at AIR, where it occurs often, or even is a goal in humor. Not standard in the rest of en-US. I *did* miss the "Oh, TT", pun/double meaning, because FG and I use such expressions literally at times while commenting on each other's draft lines. (Actually, usually self-congratulating our own, but don't tell anyone I told you that.) Sorry, old chum. ;)
Peregrin - September 28, 2012 - Report this comment
This was a great history lesson for a non-American, who knew little of the Kennedy's pre-JFK. The whole family was apparently a barrel of laughs...I liked the line in the notes: "there was no way he was paying "for a landslide." :)
Tommy Turtle - September 29, 2012 - Report this comment
Peregrin: Thanks, but unfortunately, the consequences weren't the least bit funny for those of us in the US. And if Papa K.'s support of Hitler prevailed, the rest of the world might not have found the Kennedys to be so funny, either.

(IK you were being facetious about the barrel of laughs. Thanks for the read and comment.)

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