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Song Parodies -> "Ode to Kenneth Lay"

Original Song Title:

"When You're Old And Grey"

Original Performer:

Tom Lehrer

Parody Song Title:

"Ode to Kenneth Lay"

Parody Written by:


The Lyrics

You thought you were an alchemist
Turn base metal into gold
How else can you explain away
All those derivatives you sold
It's hard to pay big dividends
When earnings are so low
So how come all those spvs
Those off balance sheet entities
Could hope to make their investments grow?

you had a scheme so elaborate
3 thousand affiliates
all those figures to titivate
risk profiles to insulate

dot coms to incubate
politicians to ingratiate
markets to deregulate
that was something to celebrate

accountants to obfuscate
friendly bankers to collaborate
clever lawyers to cooperate
Arthur Anderson to incinerate

But power can intoxicate
can lead to greed which then titillates
the temptation to overstate
to slightly exaggerate

When first you practice to deceive
It creates such complications
Sometimes it even makes you break out
Into beads of perspiration
To keep those balls all in the air's
a feat of prestidigitation
it all gets so confusing
are you winning - or losing?
Can you even do the calculation?

if you fail to anticipate
that bubbles disintegrate
You'll soon have to fabricate
to crassly manipulate

when losses accumulate
your share price deteriorates
and you cant repudiate
all those obligations to compensate

no time to procrastinate
or even prevaricate
what can you authenticate?
Is there anything to mitigate?

then it starts to accelerate
its too awful to contemplate
they abandon you to your fate
you'll just have to capitulate


How could it all have gone so wrong
What is the explanation?
Maybe you knew it all along
It didn't take much imagination
To see that it was bound to end
In total annihilation
If you depend on high gearing
And financial engineering
You'll wind up in administration


they're bound to investigate
to heartlessly interrogate
and then start to litigate
god help you when they adjudicate

there's so much that incriminates
you'll never obliterate
the audit trail that elucidates
all the evidence that implicates

they may even incarcerate
I can almost commiserate
You're situation is desperate
This is bigger than Watergate

Your language is so intemperate
I think you're starting to hyperventilate
there's no need to gesticulate
you're getting into such a state


but all those swaps and options
were just so off the wall
it really was a certainty
that you were bound to fall
I think when all is said and done
What we can take away
Is that law and regulation
Can't prevent such machinations
but the markets will have their say

Helen Parry October 2002

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Voting Results

Pacing: 5.0
How Funny: 4.8
Overall Rating: 4.8

Total Votes: 13

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   0
 2   0
 3   0
 4   0
 5   13

User Comments

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John Jenkins - January 26, 2004 - Report this comment
Martha, you did not enable comments for your WorldComm parody, so I will comment here for both - outstanding! It is easy to be critical of Kenneth Lay and Bernard Ebbers and their management teams, but it is not necessarily easy to make it humorous, and you did with very clever rhyming. I hope to see more of your work on amiright.
Phil Alexander - January 26, 2004 - Report this comment
Very impressive - you've done even more than the original ;-)
Rick D - January 26, 2004 - Report this comment
I was wondering how you were going to match that litany of rhymes. as a bit of Lehrer update, when the book of his songs, "Tomfoolery" came out about ten years ago, he updated the original with a whole new list of inventive rhymes. 555
Rick D - January 27, 2004 - Report this comment
I also want to mention welcome, and I believe the original title was "When You Are Old And Grey", so you cheated a little.
Johnny D - August 16, 2004 - Report this comment
(ABC) Awesome rhyming, very well-written.
Jake A Ralphing (Luke Brattoni) - August 16, 2004 - Report this comment
(ABC) Fantastic effort with rhyming, but you missed out 'Yestlicate' ;) Worthy of being read and read again. 5s.
Adagio - August 17, 2004 - Report this comment
(ABC) 5's
Agrimorfee - August 19, 2004 - Report this comment
(ABC) Wowsers. You found more words ending in "-ate" then I did for my "Mediate" INXS parody. Points for your rhyming dictionary research skills. 555
Peregrin - August 20, 2004 - Report this comment
Great work Martha, very funny
Claude Prez - August 20, 2004 - Report this comment
Whoa; impressive
Meriadoc - August 20, 2004 - Report this comment
(ABC) CFTOSAIRT (couldn't find the original song altho' I really tried). Impressive piece of work, tho'.
Jeff Reuben - August 20, 2004 - Report this comment
abc--Very good!
ABC's OF PARODIES ROUND "O" GOLD MEDAL - August 25, 2004 - Report this comment;topic=3010.0;id=1354;image
martha - September 02, 2004 - Report this comment
thanks for all the comments.... and the medal! - March 30, 2005 - Report this comment
I regret to say I DKTOS and couldn't find an MP3. But I did find the lyrics (which are great); reading through them I couldn't wait to see what you were gonna do with the "awful debility" section. And the result ? Wow - you nailed it - not just once but three different times. Very impressive.
martha - April 05, 2005 - Report this comment
thanks for the encouraging remarks Spaff... it's a great song to of my all time favourite Lehrer classics
Adagio - April 09, 2005 - Report this comment
( ABC 2004 Winners) Good one.
Scathe - April 19, 2005 - Report this comment
(ABCfinals) This spoof has one of the longest AAAAAA... rhyme schemes I've ever seen. Impressive.

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