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And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats - Matthew 25:32

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All original content on copyright 2008 Albert Barger or the respective authors

April 28, 2003


A modest proposal to monkey with Tim Robbins' mind
Tim Robbins photoGood ol' Tim Robbins. He may be a liberal cheesehead, but he's also an outstanding actor and writer. He's done some good work. In recognition, I'd like to offer a modest proposal to both honor his best work- and stick it up his ass.

His best work of all was his classic 1992 political satire Bob Roberts. If you have any taste at all for political movies, especially political comedies, this is an absolute must see. He presented the story as a fake documentary of an evil right-wing folksinger running for the US senate.

Naturally, the key to the success of the whole project is the quality of the songs. Tim Robbins and his brother wrote a bunch of "folk" songs espousing the characters' despicable right-wing views.

They did indeed write an outstanding batch of songs, better musically and more interesting in fact than anything Dylan himself has written in at least 20 years.

Yet they have had very limited exposure, and that's a damned shame. The movie itself was a big flop commercially. How many political movies have ever been hits?

Moreover, Tim Robbins himself was careful to corral the songs away from being heard out of context. From the notes to the DVD:

Because the music works so well and because the lyrics capture the conservative agenda, both brothers are adamantly opposed to releasing the songs on a soundtrack. "I had it written into the contract that there wouldn't be any soundtrack album," said tim. "We just don't want to hear these songs played out-of-context on the radio."

That's just a damned shame. These really are some outstanding songs, and they're mostly just going to waste.

Here's my proposal then: Some of you musicians should pick out the songs from the movie and learn to play them. Play them around bars, maybe make some simple studio recordings to distribute as MP3s on the net. Truly these songs deserve a wider audience.

Now, I'm no kind of musician, but there are plenty of you out there to take up the mantle. Mike Hendrix of the Cold Fury, I'm looking your direction- for starters. This would definitely harsh some mellows.

Your best approach would be to watch the DVD with the captions on, and simply write down the words of the songs. Then you can go from there to pick up your guitar and figure out the chords. Here are the words to the first song to get you going:


Some people will work
Some simply will not
But they'll complain and complain and complain and complain and complain

Some people must have
Some never will
But they'll complain and complain and complain and complain and complain

Like this: It's society's fault I don't have a job
It's society's fault I am a slob
I got potential no one can see
Give me welfare
Let me be me

Hey bud, you're living in the land of the free
No one's going to hand you opportunity

I spend all my time drunk in a bar
I want to be rich
I don't have a brain
So give me a handout while I complain

Some people must have
Some never will
But they'll complain and complain and complain and complain and complain

I don't know that Robbins will ever end up literally hearing any of this come back to him on the radio, but they deserve whatever exposure we can conjure up. These songs should be heard.

And if it happens to monkey with Robbins' head a little at the same time, why that's just extra good gravy.

posted by Al at 4/28/2003 05:36:00 AM

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