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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
SmokinBill Fav. Historical Story-songs (87* d) RE: Fav. Historical Story-songs 11 Mar 04


Just last week I wrote a song in this vein. It's about something that actually happened in my little hometown a couple of years ago. Johnstown, N.Y., has a population of about 9,000, so I guess I wrote it for a very small audience.

I set it to the tune of "Pretty Boy Floyd" because the title character is something of a folk hero around here now. (His nickname is "The Fox", in case you're wondering about the second-to-last verse.) When I get it recorded, I'll throw the .mp3 up on my Web site.


"The Ballad of Mayor Bill"
Copyright 2004 Bill Ackerbauer


Come, gather 'round me, people
And a story I'll rehash
Of how the mayor got arrested
Just for picking up some trash

It was here in lovely Johnstown
Where the Cayadutta flows,
And Mayor Pollak's story
Is one that everybody knows

When he was elected,
He took right to the streets
To set a good example
For all the people he would meet

The mayor got some funny looks
While on his daily rounds
But he was on a mission
To beautify Johnstown

It was over on West State Street
On a pleasant summer day
The mayor saw some garbage
That he thought he'd throw away

A jug of wiper fluid
And a tattered children's sled
Were all it took to get some folks
Screamin' and seein' red

The cops took down some statements
And they slapped him with the charge
They said he was trespassing
And he took it pretty hard

The mayor had his day in court
The judge dismissed his case
The mayor was vindicated
To the cops' disgrace

The mayor said he'd had enough
And he wouldn't run again
He was sick of all the disrespect
From his own policemen

The police and the old boys
Ran him out of City Hall
And the moral of the story
Is plain to one and all:

If you love your city
And you'd like to make a change
You'd best forget about it
Or folks will call you strange

Leave that garbage where it falls
To pick it up's a crime
"To hell with all the neighbors,"
Just let the town decline

But if you're willing to take a risk
And think outside the box
To make your town a better place,
You must be crazy like "The Fox."

Do this for me, people,
Next time you see old Bill
Pat him on the back for me
And say I wish him well

Smokin' Bill's Digital Depot


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