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Song Parodies -> "The Ballad of Joe Kennedy"

Original Song Title:

"Me and Bobby McGee"

 (MP3)
Original Performer:

Kris Kristofferson

Parody Song Title:

"The Ballad of Joe Kennedy"

Parody Written by:

MarthaDTox

The Lyrics

Will ya listen to my story
Of a man who wanted fame
He lived a life full of pain and tragedy
And it just goes to show that if you want too much
In the end you will lose the game
He even sacrificed his family
His daddy owned a liquor store he had ambitions for his son
Who dreamed the Ivy League and white shoe banking dream
got into stock manipulation runnin' guns and liquor for the mob
and greasin' the political machine

When FDR finally pulled it off
He was lookin to repay
All those little favours that he owed from along the way
He said it takes a thief to catch a thief so you'll be perfect for this job
You made the market crash so you can run the SEC
I'm gonna make ya Chairman of the Board Joe Kennedy

He wanted to be President but he never made the grade
The war came along and he wouldn't toe the line
So he pinned all his hopes on his eldest son put Joe Junior in the frame
But his plane didn't make it back from that bombing run
The rest of the story I guess you know it all too well
Young Jack and Bobby taken out by an assassin's gun
But who it was who shot them I guess they're never goin to tell
That was world war 3 and-now that war is won

Maybe freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose
And old Joe he didn't have too long to wait
pretty soon along came Chappaquiddick and it blew young Ted away
His dream of power was dead and soon that was his fate
That was the end of old Joe Kennedy





Well what on earth would old Joe think now
If he came back from the grave
How would he view his lasting legacy
Would he think it had been worth it would he go though with it again
Was his thirst for power really worth all that misery
Well After 70 years of the SEC manipulation's still all the rage
And the market just crashed out so what has changed?
And now we're well into world war 4 and it's set to run and run
-getting hotter all the time -thanks to those neocons

With the days of Camelot long gone and looking back in middle age
The 60s seemed full of innocence and hope
We were young and full of joy at all that life and love could bring
Making music and getting high on all that dope
But it was just a fantasy driven by the CIA
They wanted us to throw our consciousness away
So they fed us on so much LSD that we couldn't hardly think
- chemical warfare - the American way

But the world is now so hard to call
Econometrics and all that jazz
Make it difficult to even try to understand
How much easier it is to just turn away to tune in turn on- drop out
What the hell can you do - so just stick your head in the sand
Well you all want to drive your big fast cars you're addicted to guzzling gas
So you might as well go grab it while you can
Cos if the chips were down and you had to choose I'm sure that you'd agree with me
Y'all would prefer BP to the Taliban

© Helen Parry 2003-04-24





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John Jenkins - January 28, 2004 - Report this comment
Excellent parody. You have captured the melancholy nature of the original and maybe even increased it. And, yes, I do agree with you - I do prefer British Petroleum (capitalism) to the Taliban.
Michael Pacholek - January 30, 2004 - Report this comment
Whoa. Where to begin? Much of what Old Joe did is hard to defend, but he did not cause the Crash of '29, stupid speculators and weak farm prices did. What "blew Ted away" was his horrible timing. The nomination was his for the asking in '72, '76, '84 and probably even '88. Whether he would have won, especially in the latter two campaigns as a divorcee with a drinking problem, is another story. (He's since remarried and there have been no new drunken-Ted stories, so chances are he's doing a better job recovering from alcoholism than Georgie is.) But considering that the Kennedy legacy includes civil rights, health-care reform (though passed by Congress and signed by LBJ after his death), the Moon landing and, oh yeah, saving the planet in October '62 when his '60 opponent, Tricky Dick, probably would've gotten us blown up, the Kennedy legacy dwarfs that of all other American political families except that of the Adamses. Especially the criminals running things now.
MarthaDTox - January 31, 2004 - Report this comment
Many thansk for your interestimg anmd thoughtful comments. The word "you" in the line" you made the market crash" was really a plural use .. a collective use not specifically addressed just to him .. the English language is problematic in that it does not allow for that distinction to be clealry made.. The following extract illustrates what I meant by that line. Re Ted .. blew away is a bit of an exaggeration/metaphor I accept that but nevertheless the events of Chappa quiddick were not beneficial to him and his politiacl career. I also accept what yoiu say about the other aspects of the Kennedy legacy.. its only a parody.. not a treatise on US political history! “Before taking the helm of the SEC, Joseph Kennedy was a known "pool operator." Although not illegal when Kennedy participated in the pools, one of the main purposes of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 was the eradication of pools. Pools consisted of a group of individuals who would use their combined vast resources to push a stock up or down. The pools used whatever means necessary, both deceptive and truthful, to accomplish the movement of a stock price. ] Many of the pools used concerted buying or selling, in conjunction with rumours, to take control of a stock's float. Whether the pools used deceptive practices was determined by their needs at the time of transaction. Not all pools were successful in their endeavours, but the effects of failures were just as disturbing to the market as the successes. The Committee noted that the pools contributed to speculation, and that speculation "whether for the rise or for the fall, needs to be curbed rather than stimulated.” Extract from PUPPET MASTERS OR MARIONETTES: IS PROGRAM TRADING MANIPULATIVE AS DEFINED BY THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934? Lawrence Damian McCabe Fordham Law Review May, 1993 Annual Survey Issue Happy Birthday 10b-5: 50 Years of Antifraud Regulation

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