Song of the Day #3,049: ‘Hey Mr. Tangerine Man (Live)’ – Wesley Stace

wesley_staceWe have arrived. After what seems like a decade-long presidential campaign, today’s the day we choose our next president.

I’ve been saying for more than a year that Hillary Clinton has this in the bag, mostly because of the demographic advantages Democrats have in high turnout elections. It doesn’t hurt that her opponent is a narcissistic misogynist.

But who knows? I might wake up tomorrow in Donald Trump’s America. God help us all.

As my final pre-election selection from the 30 Days, 30 Songs project, I’m going with a mean but funny protest song sung to the tune of Bob Dylan’s ‘Hey Mr. Tambourine Man.’ The performer is Wesley Stace, better known by his stage name, John Wesley Harding.

Here’s how he introduced the track:

I wanted to offer the world, in these queasy times, an uplifting, immediately familiar, comic protest song in the ’60s style: one voice and an acoustic guitar. It’s what folksingers do. I was actually in the middle of writing “Here’s to the State of Donald Trump” (an update of “Here’s to the State of Mississippi” by Phil Ochs, which he himself refitted as “Here’s to the State of Richard Nixon”) at the behest of Phil’s sister, Sonny, for the Philadelphia Folk Festival that coming weekend, when my friend Roger Clark sent the idea and outline for “Mr. Tangerine Man.” Roger himself is pastiche royalty, ever since he first mashed “Stairway to Heaven” and the Gilligan’s Island theme song under the name Little Roger and The Goosebumps. “Mr. Tangerine Man” is especially written to be played at Folk Festivals to people who mostly agree with you. I’m English and I don’t get to vote in America; I just look on in horror and wonder what to do—until I remember to play a song.

And here’s the song:

Hey, Mr. Tangerine Man
What’s that on your head?
Is it alive or is it dead?
Do you keep it on in bed?
How often is it fed?
We’re dying for a peek
To see what’s under it
Hey Mr. Tangerine Man
Waving to your fans
It’s all about those little hands
Your nonexistent master plan
But on a mid-November morning
No one’s following you

Your mama must have told you:
“Donald, you can do no wrong
You’re handsome, big and strong
You’ll struggle hard and long
Despite your sacrifice, they’ll hate you
Cos you’re ravishing”
When you look into the mirror
Tell me what is it you see?
Is it The One and Only Me?
Someone we all want to be?
In your own reality
With your weirdo family
& Casino Golf Club dreams
Amid the ruins of other schemes
And Trump University
And the many other gifts
That you’ve been lavishing


And in case there’s any question,
I’m a white man just like you
Not a black man or a Jew
Or a Muslim or Hindoo
But I’m scared of what you’d do
You’d blow us all to Timbuctoo
Please bid the phone adieu
It’s time to stop the insults
And the tweeting
It’s not hard to kill an Elephant
& that’s just what you did
Like your inbred rat-tooth kids
It’s fair game and you’re pure id
Who you trying to kid
With your presidential bid
You’re either gonna flip your lid
Or shut down the whole grid
Even rich men get outbid
And you’ll claim it’s rigged
Before you take your beating

Hey Mr. Tangerine Man
Leave your gilded throne
Call back your campaign loans
Maybe throw the hawks a bone
Send the Muslims home
Then kill’ em with a drone
They’ll never know what hit em
Hey Mr. Tangerine Man
Waving to your fans
It’s all about those little hands
Your nonexistent master plan
But on a mid-November morning
No one’s following you

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,049: ‘Hey Mr. Tangerine Man (Live)’ – Wesley Stace

  1. Dana says:

    I have also said this is in the bag from the beginning and, hopefully, by tonight, we will be proven right! #I’mwithher!

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