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Song Parodies -> "The Man Who Dropped Liberty's Ballots (Pitney Part IV)"

Original Song Title:

"The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance"

Original Performer:

Gene Pitney

Parody Song Title:

"The Man Who Dropped Liberty's Ballots (Pitney Part IV)"

Parody Written by:

Tommy Turtle

The Lyrics

The 2000 election for POTUS was extremely close and highly controversial. The state of Florida was expected to be, and proved to be, decisive. After a month-long fight that eventually landed in the U.S. Supreme Court, it was determined that George W. Bush had defeated Al Gore in Florida by 537 votes out of 6 million cast in that state, a margin of less than 0.01%, the closest POTUS result in any state ever. There were allegations of improprieties, including 1) the use of the so-called "butterfly ballot," whose layout might be confusing to voters in Palm Beach County who were too senile to read, or to walk and denture gum at the same time, but were allowed to vote anyway; 2) the question of how to count punch-card ballots that were incompletely punched, leaving bits of paper known as "hanging chad", and leading to a lot of Viagra/"hanging chad" jokes, and 3) the fact that the supervisor of the state's election process, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, was also George W. Bush's state campaign co-chairperson. The fact that Harris' boss and Governor of the State of Florida, Jeb Bush, was also George W. Bush's brother was strictly a coincidence. OS lyrics here, intended as the theme song for the 1962 movie of the same name, but not used in it.
When W. George Bush came to town
The votin' folk would hide
They'd hide
When autumn's elections came around
They tried then to decide
Because the drop of a bomb
Was the only law that W. understood
When it came to lying
Out his ass
He was mighty good

From out of the South a Gov'nor came
Punch ballot in his hand
A man
The kind of a man dumb George would need
To triumph in this land
'Cause a butterfly card
And some hanging chad was what Jeb Bush understood
When it came to counting
Ballots cast
He did what he would

Many old farts would cast their vote
And many a chad not fall
The man who swapped liberty's ballots
He slopped liberty's ballots
He put his brother in the Mall [1]

The bore named Al Gore can make a man
Stay home when he should vote
Stay home
Just trying to stay awake a while --
Al Gore does not emote

But a family tie was the only law
The Governor understood
When it came to counting
Votes amassed
He did what he could

For two or three weeks, we prayed the Court
Would end that stupid fight
Ahh, that fight
When nothing, it seemed, could help
Us ever knowing who was right
From the moment a man into campaign goes
The very first thing he learns
When two men go out to face each other,
One back home returns

Everyone heard the news ring out
Mistakes made: news channels, all [2]
The man who chopped liberty's ballots
He cropped liberty's ballots
He got to make the fateful call

The man who copped liberty's ballots
He lopped liberty's ballots
He put his Bro above us all

[1] The White House is actually somewhat north of the National Mall in Washington, D. C., but I thought that the text given here made a good parody line. Determining the exact distance is difficult, because satellite photos of the White House and the Capitol building have been altered by the CIA, so that bad people won't be able to find these buildings. Hah! Take that, bad people!

[2] All of the major news channels mistakenly called the election for Gore well before all the results were in, then retracted and said it was too close to call, then called it for Bush, then retracted and said it was too close to call. They got it right on that fourth try. Some felt that calling the election for Gore while many, especially in later time zones, had yet to vote, indicated improper bias and attempted influence on their part. To both Democrats and Republicans: A pox on both your houses!

A good source for more on the controversy is Wikipedia, also a good source for the fact that the Dems did the same thing in Illinois in 1960 to get JFK elected; history repeats itself eternally. A good source for better political choices is here. Viagra ® Pfizer Inc. All else © 2006 Tommy Turtle.

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Voting Results

Pacing: 4.2
How Funny: 4.1
Overall Rating: 4.0

Total Votes: 9

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   1
 2   0
 3   1
 4   1
 5   6

User Comments

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AFW - April 10, 2006 - Report this comment
A fantastic ballad of the should write the movie script to go with this...Great and classy political humor, here...brilliant job
alvin rhodes - April 10, 2006 - Report this comment
great re-working of a classic song
Dee Range - April 10, 2006 - Report this comment
Although I didn't know Pitney sang this song, I recently watched the movie one late night. I remember the song vivedly and wondered who sang it. And although I don't follow politics, you would have to be brain dead not to remember the screw-up in that election, and all the hanging Chad jokes resulting from it. Even being brain dead doesn't mean you don't know about that. I am the living(barely) proof. This is terriffic, man.
Stuart McArthur - April 10, 2006 - Report this comment
fantastic recreation of an episode that had the rest of the world incredulous - loved the "And many a chad not fall" and the "Al Gore does not emote" lines TT - I still recall Al's underwhelming final concession speech - 555
TT - April 10, 2006 - Report this comment
AFW, thanks, I'll shop it around the studios... alvin, thanks... Dee Range, thanks, I don't think yer brain dead judgin' by yer recent work... Stuart McArthur, thanks... so, Al Gore: Even "down under", underwhelming? (great description! Tough task, losing to W., but he managed.) Rest of the world: incredulous; US/us: embarassed... A Roman-Empire style usurpation would have been less painful.
Larry Hensley - April 11, 2006 - Report this comment
Hail to the parody!
Michael Pacholek - April 11, 2006 - Report this comment
Tough song to do (not a lot of words rhyme with "Valance," maybe Red Ant can do something with that), and a lot of good phrases. But let's tell the truth here: JFK won the Electoral Vote 303-215, with 15 "faithless electors" in the South going to Senator Harry Byrd of Virginia, who later left the Democrats to become an independent due to the Party's civil rights commitment. If Nixon had won Illinois fair and square in 1960, JFK still would've had an edge of 276-242, more than the 269 Electoral Votes then needed. (The 23rd Amendment to the Constitution game the District of Columbia Electoral Votes starting with 1964, making the "magic number" the present 270.) Nixon would've needed one more State to deny JFK a majority and throw it to the House of Representatives (where anything could have happened), and one more large State to give himself a majority. There is also evidence of Republican malfeasance at the other end of Illinois, the southern end, which has long been a stronghold of rednecks and even the Ku Klux Klan. This does not absolve the Democrats of anything they may have done wrong in Cook County (Chicago and a few suburban towns), but it does mean Republicans are on shaky ground when they make the "Mayor Daley" argument. (Richard J. Daley was Mayor and County political boss from 1955 to his death in 1976. His son Richard M. Daley has been Mayor since 1991.)
TT - April 12, 2006 - Report this comment
Larry, Michael, thanks.
Peregrin - September 23, 2012 - Report this comment
I arrived to this parody late, and echo Stu's comments above. Chuckled all the way through but burst out laughing at the many old farts line.

PS Your parody confuses me, I thought some guy named 'Chad' was responsible, and when they found out, he was left hanging...

PPS J/k, lest my particular brand of mirth flew so high (or low) it passed anyone by... :)
Tommy Turtle - September 23, 2012 - Report this comment
Peregrin: Glad it tickled your fancy. Thanks for arriving (*always* better late than never! ;), and yes, even this unevolved reptile with a brain approximately the size of a pea (true of most turtles) perceived the second comment to be facetious, esp. as hanging has not been used as an execution method for US civilians for some decades now. ;-D

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