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The Perfect Political Speech

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David Allan Coe’s 1975 song "You Never Even Called Me By My Name [2]" ends with Coe telling his live audience the following:

WELL, A FRIEND OF MINE NAMED STEVE GOODMAN WROTE THAT SONG

AND HE TOLD ME IT WAS THE PERFECT COUNTRY & WESTERN SONG

I WROTE HIM BACK A LETTER AND I TOLD HIM IT WAS NOT THE PERFECT COUNTRY
& WESTERN SONG BECAUSE HE HADN’T SAID ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT MAMA,

OR TRAINS

OR TRUCKS,

OR PRISON,

OR GETTING’ DRUNK

WELL HE SAT DOWN AND WROTE ANOTHER VERSE TO THE SONG

AND HE SENT IT TO ME,  AND AFTER READING IT, I REALIZED THAT MY FRIEND HAD WRITTEN THE PERFECT COUNTRY & WESTERN SONG

AND I FELT OBLIGED TO INCLUDE IT ON THIS ALBUM

THE LAST VERSE GOES LIKE THIS HERE:

WELL, I WAS DRUNK THE DAY MY MOM GOT OUT OF PRISON

AND I WENT TO PICK HER UP IN THE RAIN


BUT BEFORE I COULD GET TO THE STATION IN MY PICK-UP TRUCK


SHE GOT RUNNED OVER BY A DAMNED OLD TRAIN

It’s a great song, with this incredibly clever, satirical ending.

Karol (who doesn’t share my taste for much country’n’western music) has heard me sing these lyrics several times, just for fun.  So this morning when she read parts of Hillary Clinton’s speech to the Democratic National Convention, she exclaimed "This reminds me of that David Allan Coe song you’re always singing!"

And Karol’s correct.  Sen. Clinton’s speech [3] is predictably full of typical political nonsense, posturing, and hubris pretending to be humility.  In this sense, it’s a really good political speech.  But her inclusion of these lyrics are what make it the perfect political speech:

I will always remember the single mom who had adopted two kids with
autism. She didn’t have any health insurance, and she discovered she
had cancer. But she greeted me with her bald head, painted with my name
on it, and asked me to fight for health care for her and her children.

I
will always remember the young man in a Marine Corps T-shirt who waited
months for medical care. And he said to me, "Take care of my buddies. A
lot of them are still over there. And then will you please take care of
me?"

And I will always remember the young boy who told me his mom
worked for the minimum wage, that her employer had cut her hours. He
said he just didn’t know what his family was going to do.

No tale, no matter how hackneyed, left untold — no possible profiles of any ‘victim’ of the cruel forces of markets and inadequate regulation left unmentioned.

The perfect political speech.

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