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[Comments] (1) Why Not The YES?: Recently I heard about a song-poem (this entry presumes your knowledge of song-poems!) called "Jimmy Carter Says YES". I bought the song (it's on a song-poem compilation album) and it's extremely funky. Here's the main theme:

Can our government be competent?
Jimmy Carter says YES. (2x)
Can our government be honest?
Jimmy Carter says YES. (2x)
Can our government be decent and open?
As the 39th president, he has spoken
YES. Jimmy Carter says YES.

This language seemed very familiar to me, because as it happens I just read Carter's 1975 campaign biography, Why Not the Best?. For the record I now present the Secret Origin Of "Jimmy Carter Says YES": it's cribbed from the book.

Here's the first few paragraphs of the first chapter, "Two Questions".

As we observe the two hundredth birthday of our nation, it is appropriate to ask ourselves two basic questions:

Can our government be honest, decent, open, fair, and compassionate?

Can our government be competent?

In the last chapter ("Those Two Questions Again"), Carter restates the first question and then says: "In my judgement, the answer to that question is a resounding YES[.]" Spoiler alert: the answer to the second question is also YES.

This explains a couple of the song's odd features, ie. the capitalization of "YES" and the fact that the rest of the lyrics don't measure up to the cribbed material ("statement of eruption"??).

Incidentally, Sumana and I also own an amazing album of presidential campaign songs, sung by Oscar Brand. One of the best songs on it is Carter's campaign song, also called "Why Not The Best?" It's a great slow country tune, and the last campaign song on that album to be an original song (ie. not a filk or reuse of an existing song).

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Posted by Fafner at Mon Aug 17 2009 00:03

Oscar Brand is so fantastic. Have you heard his bawdy songs? Not to be missed.

I have a couple of mp3s of Kennedy speeches interwoven with trumpet and a mixed chorus echoing his words. Very odd stuff.


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