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Songs About Lawyers or the Law

Bennet Zurofsky 04 Jan 02 - 01:21 PM
catspaw49 04 Jan 02 - 01:27 PM
Wolfgang 04 Jan 02 - 02:04 PM
Midchuck 04 Jan 02 - 02:08 PM
Wolfgang 04 Jan 02 - 02:08 PM
MMario 04 Jan 02 - 02:09 PM
Gareth 04 Jan 02 - 02:11 PM
Grab 04 Jan 02 - 02:13 PM
Wolfgang 04 Jan 02 - 02:21 PM
Grab 04 Jan 02 - 02:22 PM
Robby 04 Jan 02 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,Gern 04 Jan 02 - 02:41 PM
sc 04 Jan 02 - 03:04 PM
Deda 04 Jan 02 - 03:09 PM
JedMarum 04 Jan 02 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,mkebenn@work 04 Jan 02 - 03:35 PM
lamarca 04 Jan 02 - 03:47 PM
Amos 04 Jan 02 - 03:59 PM
Bennet Zurofsky 04 Jan 02 - 04:25 PM
Charley Noble 04 Jan 02 - 05:04 PM
Paul from Hull 04 Jan 02 - 05:46 PM
Susanne (skw) 04 Jan 02 - 07:08 PM
Stewie 04 Jan 02 - 07:52 PM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 04 Jan 02 - 08:14 PM
Charley Noble 05 Jan 02 - 12:38 PM
breezy 05 Jan 02 - 01:45 PM
breezy 05 Jan 02 - 01:53 PM
Grab 05 Jan 02 - 07:52 PM
GUEST,hrothgar 05 Jan 02 - 08:08 PM
Deda 05 Jan 02 - 09:31 PM
53 05 Jan 02 - 11:45 PM
Haruo 06 Jan 02 - 12:36 AM
GUEST,Canuck 06 Jan 02 - 01:40 AM
Mr Red 06 Jan 02 - 08:44 AM
BlueFolk 06 Jan 02 - 12:45 PM
Bennet Zurofsky 07 Jan 02 - 10:18 AM
GUEST,LynnT 07 Jan 02 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,LynnT 07 Jan 02 - 11:34 AM
Deda 07 Jan 02 - 04:45 PM
dick greenhaus 07 Jan 02 - 09:59 PM
Dan Schatz 08 Jan 02 - 01:42 AM
Mark Cohen 08 Jan 02 - 04:34 AM
Ebbie 08 Jan 02 - 01:10 PM
Susanne (skw) 08 Jan 02 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,Desdemona 08 Jan 02 - 06:34 PM
Herga Kitty 08 Jan 02 - 07:49 PM
GUEST,Gaffer 08 Jan 02 - 08:03 PM
GUEST,Gaffer 08 Jan 02 - 08:05 PM
Gaffer 08 Jan 02 - 08:22 PM
Mark Cohen 08 Jan 02 - 11:40 PM
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Subject: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Bennet Zurofsky
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 01:21 PM

As a lawyer I am interested in songs which have lawyers in them or that are about legal issues, trials, etc. Does anybody have any favorites out there? Does anybody have any that portray lawyers in a favorable light?

Some of the ones I am already familiar with include "Legal/Illegal" by Ewan MacColl, "My Attorney Bernie" by Dave Frishberg (?), a whole bunch by Bob Dylan, such as "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carol," "Hurricane," and "Everything Is Broken;" Arlo's "Alice's Restaurant," his Dad's "Philadelphia Lawyer," "Talkin' Constitution," and "Do Re Mi;" traditional songs like "Sam Hall," Bessie Smith's "Electric Chair Blues (Send Me to the Electric Chair)."

I am not looking for songs which simply describe illegal activity, such as murder, rape, or drug use, nor am I looking for songs which merely talk about policemen or the like, I am interested in songs which either relate to the system, the merits of various laws, or lawyers, trials and judges.

Thank-you in advance to all responders.


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 01:27 PM

Looks like you're off to a great start......Dylan's "Percy's Song" also comes to mind.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Wolfgang
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 02:04 PM

Lawyer outwitted

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Midchuck
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 02:08 PM

Tom Paxton's One Million Lawyers, of course.

P.


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Wolfgang
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 02:08 PM

Fanny Blair

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: MMario
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 02:09 PM

'Long Black Veil'?


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Gareth
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 02:11 PM

Try the Gilbert & Sullivan light oparetta.

"Iolanthe"
"Trial by Jury"
& "Ruddigore" come to mind.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Grab
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 02:13 PM

Don Maclean - "Respect".

Tom Paxton has an album called "1 million lawyers and other disasters" (IIRC) featuring the title song.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Wolfgang
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 02:21 PM

Na Connerys (if I only could find the English lyrics I'm sure I have seen on the web)

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Grab
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 02:22 PM

Nearly forgot, there's a song where Dick Turpin robs a lawyer in the DT here. Not too unfavourable - better than most you'll find! :-) Although I've heard there's versions where Turpin "robbed him of his store/ because he knew he'd lie for more".

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Robby
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 02:24 PM

Then too, there is The Very Unfortunate Man, as performed by the Chad Mitchell Trio, for those who don't mind poking fun at the legal profession.
Robby


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: GUEST,Gern
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 02:41 PM

I suggest Woody Guthrie's "Philadelphia Lawyer," Dylan's "Drifter's Escape", and the Who's "Legal Matter."


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: sc
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 03:04 PM

HUAC should have spawned a few little songs in the fifties - but can't think of anything - Pete wouldn't have let that get by so easy, would he? How about the Chicago Seven Trial - Seems like someone would have written about that (Arlo maybe)? Is there a Song for Clarence Darrow? Oughta be! Or Mo Dees?

Sorry not any help from me.
Peace!
-sc


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Deda
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 03:09 PM

Jackson Browne's "Lawyers in Love". An old jukebox number called "Will your lawyer talk to God for you?" (Amos knows all the words, he picked it up on a jukebox in Maine sometime in the early 60s, I think, and I've never heard it anywhere else except by Amos.)


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: JedMarum
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 03:18 PM

... and ya can't forget the old Jimmy Driftwood classic The Very Unfortunate Man.


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: GUEST,mkebenn@work
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 03:35 PM

Warren Zevon's "Lawyers, Guns and Money"


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Subject: Lyr Add: LADIES, DON'T GO THIEVIN'
From: lamarca
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 03:47 PM

This fun little song was discussed on Mudcat a couple years ago here, but the posted lyrics don't look quite right to me. I learned this from the Banddogs album, but I think it was another broadside that Nic Jones set to music when he was with Halliard. It's a nice comparison of the difference in "justice" for the wealthy vs. the poor in the 1800's - some things never change...

LADIES, DON'T GO THIEVIN'

Chorus

    Oh don't we live all in curious times,
    You scarce could be believing
    When Frenchmen fight, aye, and emperors die,
    And ladies go a-thieving

1. A beauty from the West End went,
Around the shop she lingers
And then upon some handkerchief
She lights her pretty fingers

Chorus

2. Oh, thieving is a wicked trade,
As I to you will state now
If a poor man stole a penny loaf
They'd sent him off to Newgate

Chorus

3. He'd get six months all in Newgate jail,
Sayin' in roguery he was dealing
But here's a lady all in a veil
Who rambles out a-thieving

Chorus

4. The shopman he appoaches her,
Saying "What you mean by this then?"
And very soon she was in the hands
Of one of them new policemen

Chorus

5. Her husband when he heard the news
Began to shout and to curse her
He swore he'd take his whip to her
And make her fingers blister

Chorus

6. Oh thieving is a wicked trade,
As I to you will state now
If a poor man stole of a penny loaf
They'd sent him off to Newgate


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Subject: Lyr Add: WILL YOUR LAWYER TALK TO GOD FOR YOU?
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 03:59 PM

^^
WILL YOUR LAWYER TALK TO GOD FOR YOU?
(Harlan Howard - Richard Johnson) Copyright '64 Wilderness Music
Performed by Kitty Wells: “Especially For You” (Decca DL 74493) '64

The lawyer called to say he had the papers all prepared.
Just to sign my name was all I had to do.
Well, he's seen the judge, and he's seen me. There's only one thing left to see.
Will your lawyer talk to God for you?

CHORUS: Will your lawyer talk to God, plead your case up on high,
And defend the way you broke my heart in two?
Man-made laws have set you free on earth, but is God satisfied?
Will your lawyer talk to God for you?

We must all face final judgment, and it's mighty strict, they say.
When your turn comes, I wonder what you'll do.
Will you hang your head in shame, or will you turn your face away?
Will your lawyer talk to God for you? CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Bennet Zurofsky
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 04:25 PM

These are great, please keep 'em coming! With the links provided or my own resources I think I can find them all, except I am completely unfamiliar with the Don McLean song "Respect" mentioned by Grab, can I get some more help with that one?

Certainly, somewhere, there must be some songs that say something nice about us lawyers (other than perhaps sympathy as victims of Mr. Turpin)?


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Subject: Lyr Add: JUSTICE EN LIEU
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 05:04 PM

Ewan MacColl had a song called "Legal-Illegal" on HOT BLAST (Folkways Records FW8710), one verse of which runs:

It's illegal to kill off as landlord
Or to trespass upon his estate;
But to charge a high rent for a slum is OK,
To condemn two adults and three children to stay
In a hovel that's rotten with damp and decay
Is a thing that is perfectly legal.

Then there's one that I penned a few years back to celebrate an embarrassing situation for one of our district judges in Maine:

JUSTICE EN LIEU
(Words by Charlie Ipcar © 1993 Inspired by an Associated Press story – 9/9/93 Tune 19th Century Irish Music Hall: "I Wish They'd Do It Now")

C-----G—C----------------G-C-----------G—C---------F---C
There are trials and trib-u-la-tions as in life we make our way,
----F------------------C------------------D-----------------G
Of-ten there's lit-tle jus-tice, you can hear the peo-ple say;
-------------------C-------------G---C-G—C--------------F------C
Now comes the Ci-ty of Ma-chi-as, on Maine's rock-bound shore,
----F-------------C-------------G-----C--------G7---C
Jus-tice was all con-found-ed at the Court-house bath-room door.

'Twas in the year of '93, September the eighth day,
Judge Marsano left his chambers, or so the papers say;
He entered his private bathroom, his duty to pursue,
How could he have imagined – fourteen hours en lieu?

When he tried to leave the bathroom, he found it was no go;
The lock had jammed, his staff had left, no one could hear his woe;
So this Justice was confounded – his story will endure –
By the push-button locking system on the Courthouse bathroom door.

C--G7-C
On the Courthouse bathroom door,
---G7-C------------------G
On the Courthouse bathroom door,
-----------C-------------F--C
By the push-button locking sy-stem
------G-----C---------G7---C
On the Court-house bath-room door.


First he tried to force the lock, but 'twas to no avail,
If he'd only had a bucket, he might have gotten out on bail;
Next he removed the hinge pins, but that door refused to budge,
There seemed to be no earthly way to win early release for the Judge.

If he'd only brought some lawbooks, he might have shown more zeal,
He could have drafted a petition and gotten out on appeal;
But this Justice was confounded – his story will endure –
By the push-button locking system on the Courthouse bathroom door.

On the Courthouse bathroom door,
On the Courthouse bathroom door,
By the push-button locking system
On the Courthouse bathroom door.

So early the next morning, his staff was surprised to hear
Such unruly banging and shouting from the bathroom in the rear;
They smashed the lock to free the Judge, and the super did allow:
"It wasn't funny at the time but it sure is funny now!"


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 05:46 PM

Can't think of anything that fits the folk idiom (& havent heard of even HALF of the stuff listed above) but just for a giggle, what about "Good Morning Judge" by 10cc?

Best wishes

Paul


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 07:08 PM

Does Ewan MacColl's Go Down, Ye Murderers, Go Down count? There is another version, called The Ballad of Tim Evans. (Incidentally, in the last verse of the latter version, the name should be Christie, not Christy. John Christie was the mass murderer whose victims Tim Evans' wife and daughter became. He was hanged for his other crimes in 1953. Tim Evans' judicial murder contributed to the abolition of capital punishment in Britain, but it wasn't till many years later that he was formally declared innocent.


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Subject: Lyr Add: UNCLE FRED (Bernard Bolan)
From: Stewie
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 07:52 PM

My favourite is one from the pen of Bernard Bolan who has written loads of amusing songs. Oz references: 'Waltons' is a firm that supplies vehicles and farming machinery; 'Torrens title' is a system of land title; and 'Long Bay' is a jail. Bernard is a lawyer.

UNCLE FRED
(Bernard Bolan)

My uncle Fred retired last week at the age of 82
So we thought it only proper to prepare a little do
My uncle Fred's a lawyer and he works in Sydney town
At the offices of Brindle, Bogle, Trimble, Cock and Brown

It had always been intended I should follow in his steps
And not become a parson or else one of Waltons' reps
So I studied for my exams though it nearly split my head
And soon I took my proper place alongside Uncle Fred

Uncle Fred is 82 today
Time to take his specs off and put his books away
Time to say farewell to Torrens title and the courts
And no more thinking complicated excise duty thoughts

Mr Bogle brought the gin and Bogle brought the beer
But Trimble, Cock and Brown had not been round for many years
The office girls appeared in pearls and some with purple eyes
And, in the usual fashion, I was sent to get the pies

A wooden chiming clock was bought at very great expense
And a little card with flowers on cost petty cash 10 cents
At the office bar, with a pencil jar, the cashier lost his head
And drank lemonade and a razor blade to the health of uncle Fred

Uncle Fred is 82 today
Time now for the Law Society's pension fund to pay
No more hereunto, aforesaid, thee and thou
But time to pay attention to the herein after now

Mr Bogle had begun his speech in praise of uncle Fred
When he choked upon a cherry and he turned a fearful red
They beat him on the back until his teeth fell on the floor
And in the pandemonium no one saw the office door

But standing there as large as life was a banker known as Max
For whom old Fred had once prepared a scheme for saving tax
He said, 'So Fred is leaving, I am glad he hasn't gone
'Cos I just got out of jail this week and I'd like to join the fun

Uncle Fred is 82 today
Time to say goodbye to all his friends up in Long Bay
No more telling clients that adultery is wrong
And tracking correspondents down and wishing he was young

After Max came Mr Phelps who lives at Wollongong
He bought a flat in Wollstonecraft but Fred had got things wrong
Then poor Herbert Wilkins' missus shedding floods of tears
On a speeding charge he'd gone to Fred and he'd got him 14 years

But then a hush fell over all as from the ground beneath
Came smoke and flames and 20 names framed in a fiery wreath
'God bless you Fred from the grateful dead', Satan's chorus sang,
'For down in hell are the clientele that you managed to get hanged'

Uncle Fred, you're 82 today
Time to hang your wig up and to give the game away
Time to leave your office in the middle of the town
With the compliments of Brindle, Bogle, Trimble, Cock and Brown

Words and music by Bernard Bolan.
Source: transcription from Bernard Bolan 'An Eccentric Collection' E E Eclectic Enterprises EEEE2000-1 [http://www.ozemail.com.au/~bolan]

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 08:14 PM

Here are some songs dealing with issues related to U.S. copyright law:

The Mudcat Came Back

D.M.C.A.

The Ballad of Dennis Karjala

Also, Here (pdf) is a paper by James Boyle which begins by quoting the following humorous lyric:

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from off the goose.

The law demands that we atone
When we take things we do not own
But leaves the lords and ladies fine
Who take things that are yours and mine.

The poor and wretched don't escape
If they conspire the law to break;
This must be so but they endure
Those who conspire to make the law.

The law locks up the man or woman Who steals the goose from off the common And geese will still a common lack Till they go and steal it back

T.


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 12:38 PM

Stewie - your Bolan ditty is most certainly a fine one!


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: breezy
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 01:45 PM

O.K try this one , La Gorille, as sung by Jake Thakeray about a gorilla that shags a Judge!!! but only a petty sessions one,I'.
Brother gorri-i-i-i-i-lla , I've got the words but not the inclination at the moment.I'll check back to see if you get it.
Where are you? cos Thaks is England.


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: breezy
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 01:53 PM

and'' Judge Judge send me to th' 'lectric chair'' as I've heard sung by Mick Pearce who'll be guesting on Fri 18th. Jan 2002 at the Silver Cup, Harpenden, Herts., Eng..along with other great songs from his rep.Doors open 8.15 £4. $6.50, 45 old francs etc oh shut upI'm ramblin


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Subject: Lyr Add: RESPECT (Don Maclean)
From: Grab
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 07:52 PM

"Respect" is a simple three-chord exercise, and I guess it's basically a more modern version of the Boyle story. I wonder if this is worth a cross-posting to the "seriously pissed-off" thread...?

RESPECT
Don Maclean

Well it ain't so easy is it? You almost lost your place,
And perhaps you're wondering how you're going to cope with your disgrace?
Well your wealth is well-established and your friends were never few,
And all the things they told me I now find them to be true.

Well if the truth can free the guilty while the innocent must die
Then I respect, respect, respect the coldest lie.

Well you talk of human justice and you drive on fancy wheels,
And you push them to the limit just to see how nice it feels.
Well it doesn't really matter if she's living or she's dead,
You just drive away forgetting that your bumper's dipped in red.

Well if that's the kind of justice that our halls of justice claim
Then I respect, respect, respect old Jesse James.

And most cruelly they caught you and they asked you to obey,
And they threw you into prison just in case you could not pay.
Well King Arthur jousted Lancelot who stole away his wife,
And your lawyers jousted with the court to save your precious life.

Well if the living is what matters, though you lie with every breath,
Then I respect, respect, the ones they put to death.

And you won your case most easily and soon you shall be free,
But there will be a million more who'll lose their liberty,
Not because of what they did, but what they did not do -
They did not pay a lawyer or a judge to see them through.

For they had not friends to call on and they could not raise their bail,
Oh if the winning is what matters, I respect the ones who fail!


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: GUEST,hrothgar
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 08:08 PM

Look up "Crows in the Garden" in DT.


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Deda
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 09:31 PM

This isn't a song lyric but a wonderful bit from the master of whimsy, Lewis Carroll:

"You are old," said the youth, "and your jaw is too weak
For anything tougher than suet
Yet you swallowed the goose, with the claws and the beak!
Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

"In my youth," said the old man, "I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife,
And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw
Has lasted the rest of my life!"


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: 53
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 11:45 PM

this is not about lawyers but is about della and the dealer and a dog named jake and a cat named kalamazoo, pretty damn good song by hoyt axton, you should listen . BOB


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Haruo
Date: 06 Jan 02 - 12:36 AM

Gareth pointed towards Gilbert & Sullivan, which was also what I first thought of when I saw this thread. The songs that came to mind before I even started reading this were The Law Is the True Embodiment and When I Went to the Bar As a Very Young Man, both I believe from Iolanthe. I'll see if I can get you some lyrics here in a minute.
Okay, here's

SONG--LORD CHANCELLOR.

The Law is the true embodiment
Of everything that's excellent.
It has no kind of fault or flaw,
And I, my Lords, embody the Law.
The constitutional guardian I
Of pretty young Wards in Chancery,
All very agreeable girls--and none
Are over the age of twenty-one.
A pleasant occupation for
A rather susceptible Chancellor!

ALL.

A pleasant occupation for
A rather susceptible Chancellor!

LORD CHANCELLOR.

But though the compliment implied
Inflates me with legitimate pride,
It nevertheless can't be denied
That it has its inconvenient side.
For I'm not so old, and not so plain,
And I'm quite prepared to marry again,
But there'd be the deuce to pay in the Lords
If I fell in love with one of my Wards!
Which rather tries my temper, for
I'm such a susceptible Chancellor!

ALL.

Which rather tries his temper, for
He's such a susceptible Chancellor!

LORD CHANCELLOR.

And every one who'd marry a Ward
Must come to me for my accord,
And in my court I sit all day,
Giving agreeable girls away,
With one for him--and one for he--
And one for you--and one for ye--
And one for thou--and one for thee--
But never, oh, never a one for me!
Which is exasperating for
A highly susceptible Chancellor!

ALL.

Which is exasperating for
A highly susceptible Chancellor!

There's that one. The other is

SONG--LORD CHANCELLOR.

When I went to the Bar as a very young man,
   (Said I to myself--said I),
I'll work on a new and original plan,
   (Said I to myself--said I),
I'll never assume that a rogue or a thief
Is a gentleman worthy implicit belief,
Because his attorney has sent me a brief,
   (Said I to myself--said I!).

Ere I go into court I will read my brief through
   (Said I to myself--said I),
And I'll never take work I'm unable to do
   (Said I to myself-said I),
My learned profession I'll never disgrace
By taking a fee with a grin on my face,
When I haven't been there to attend to the case
   (Said I to myself--said I!).

I'll never throw dust in a juryman's eyes
   (Said I to myself--said I),
Or hoodwink a judge who is not over-wise
   (Said I to myself--said I),
Or assume that the witnesses summoned in force
In Exchequer, Queen's Bench, Common Pleas, or Divorce,
Have perjured themselves as a matter of course
   (Said I to myself--said I!).

In other professions in which men engage
   (Said I to myself said I),
The Army, the Navy, the Church, and the Stage
   (Said I to myself--said I),
Professional licence, if carried too far,
Your chance of promotion will certainly mar--
And I fancy the rule might apply to the Bar
   (Said I to myself--said I!).

The Gilbert & Sullivan Archive pages I linked to have MIDI files available for listening or download.

Liland


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: GUEST,Canuck
Date: 06 Jan 02 - 01:40 AM

The courtroom was crowded, the judge waited there
My mother was cryin' as I left my chair.
The sentence was sharp, folks, it cut like a knife,
For ninety-nine years [unintelligible] is almost for life.
Artist ???? Title [99 years?]?? [in my mind's ear I hear Flatt & Scruggs ~ certainly the high lonesome sound is there ~ ??? Forget the time or place, 50s.

My lawyer friend, especially when we're doing a literacy event, likes to do "Between the lines" by Steve Goodman, which begins

The day you're born they sign a piece of paper
To certify the date of your birth.
The day you die they sign another
Just to prove you've gone back to the earth.

Canuck


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Mr Red
Date: 06 Jan 02 - 08:44 AM

Bennet Zurofsky
I wrote one that goes "I'm a solicitor, & I'm OK" a la "Lumberjack".
I usually ask if there are any solicitors in the audience and occasionally I have to comment that it is really about barristers **BG**.
favourable light? er not in as many words **BG**
actually it is mostly a dig at my ex-wife by proxy but not a bit personal, and a re-hash of an old Marx bros joke.
I can post if you wish. (In fee simple without prejudice, caveat emptor)


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: BlueFolk
Date: 06 Jan 02 - 12:45 PM

The File, by Bob Luman. A single on Hickory, from 1964. 'That crooked lawyer, that son of a gun...' et cetera!


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Bennet Zurofsky
Date: 07 Jan 02 - 10:18 AM

Ah well, except for the occasional ballad written by the relation of the accused, there do not seem to be any songs with nice things to say about us attorneys or the law. I am certainly enjoying the ones being forwarded to this thread however.

I suppose its like Tolstoy says at the beginningt of Anna Karenina, "all good lawyers are alike (and uninteresting) all bad lawyers or laws are bad in different ways (and therefore make interesting songs).

Keep 'em coming!

In response to the inquiry above, my law practice is in Newark, NJ, USA


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: GUEST,LynnT
Date: 07 Jan 02 - 11:30 AM

There's a madrigal called "Two Lawyers" sung by Clam Chowder: on completing a law case on opposing sides, the two lawyers saunter off to lunch together. The client of the first lawyer is shocked to see this, but the client of the other replies that it shouldn't be surprising, for two lawyers are like a pair of shears: they never cut each other, just what lies between.

Sorry I haven't more details, but the image is a nice one.

Lynn


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: GUEST,LynnT
Date: 07 Jan 02 - 11:34 AM

There's a madrigal called "Two Lawyers" sung by Clam Chowder: on completing a law case on opposing sides, the two lawyers saunter off to lunch together. The client of the first lawyer is shocked to see this, but the client of the other replies that it shouldn't be surprising, for two lawyers are like a pair of shears: they never cut each other, just what lies between.

Sorry I haven't more details, but the image is a nice one.

Lynn


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Deda
Date: 07 Jan 02 - 04:45 PM

Another famous G&S song makes reference to the law:

When I was a lad I served a term
As office boy to an attorney's firm
I washed the windows and I swept the floor
And I polished up the handle on the big front door

He polished up the handle on the big front door

I polished the handle so carefully
That now I am the leader of the Queen's navy.

He polished the handle so carefully
That now he is the leader of the Queen's navy!

There were several more verses about how this clerk who had never been to sea came to run the navy -- ridiculing the actual Naval commander of the time. Only very tangentially about lawyers.


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 07 Jan 02 - 09:59 PM

Bennett- a Digitrad search for @law* --- the @ indicates a keyword and the * is a wildcard taking care of "law", "lawyer" and "lawyers" in one swell foop---results in 19 hits.


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 08 Jan 02 - 01:42 AM

The ballad "Hiram Hubbard" talks about Hubbards execution and about him not being guilty, but I don't know of a version that goes into much detail about the trial. (The version I know does talk about his making out a will, though - perhaps he had an attorney's assistance for that?)

Also - one that portrays lawyers in a positive light, although briefly: "Mommas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" (Let 'em be doctors and lawyers and such.)

Gordon Bok sings "Broken Down Squatter" which talks about the bigwigs being brought to the bankruptcy court.

The Young Tradition recorde a ballad called Ratcliffe Highway which talks about a court martial and sentencing.

The Unitarian Universalist hymnal has a hymn with the word "notwithstanding" in it. Does that count?

Dan


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 08 Jan 02 - 04:34 AM

It's not exactly flattering, but in Charlie King's "Two Good Arms", about the Sacco and Vanzetti case:

Who will remember Judge Webster Thayer
One hand on the gavel, the other resting on his chair
Who will remember the hateful words he said
Speaking to the living in the language of the dead

Don't worry, Bennett, we doctors don't do all that well in folk songs, either!

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Ebbie
Date: 08 Jan 02 - 01:10 PM

"The judge said, Son, what is your alibi? For if you were somewheres else, then you don't have to die."

Kind of a reach, I guess, but it's the only one I can think of- and it implies an upstanding, non-corrupt judge.


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 08 Jan 02 - 06:30 PM

There is also Brian McNeill's Any Mick'll Do about the British judiciary system and its attitude to the Irish (e.g. Guildford Four, Birmingham Six). Well, actually about racism all over the world.


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: GUEST,Desdemona
Date: 08 Jan 02 - 06:34 PM

I'm put in mind of a favourite verse:

"You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak For anything tougher than suet; Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak -- Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law, And argued each case with my wife; And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw, Has lasted the rest of my life."


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Subject: Lyr Add: POOR NELL AND THE CHIMNEY SWEEP
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 08 Jan 02 - 07:49 PM

Sharp, no 221, collected from Captain Lewis, Minehead, August 1905: (about taking the law into your own hands, really):

POOR NELL AND THE CHIMNEY SWEEP

It’s of a wealthy lawyer, in Southwark he did dwell.
He had a handsome housekeeper and she was called Nell.
He hugged and kissed her o’er and o’er, as I for truth do tell,
Till her apron grew too short before, saying “Oh, poor Nell!”

It happened on a certain night as they were lying in bed,
She wept, she wailed, she wrung her hands and furthermore she said:
“My virgin rose you stole away. Oh, wed me, Sir,” said she,
“Or I like unto other poor girls say, ‘Oh, poor me!’ ”

He took her by the lily-white hand and said, “My own sweetheart,
Since you and I together have met, I hope we never shall part;
And if ever I offer to break my vow, as sure as hell is hell,
I hope the devil will fetch me, and carry me to his cell.”

So then with joys and pleasing toys they passed away the time
Till seven months were gone and past, and two left out of nine.
He turned her out of his service quite, as I for truth do tell.
All for the sake of a lady bright, he left poor Nell.

One day as she was all alone, lamenting her sad fate,
A curious frolic came in her head, which made her laugh outright.
Says she, “I’ll dress myself as any devil in Hell.
I’ll wait some night for his coming home, saying ‘Oh, poor Nell!’ ”

She straight to a chimney sweeper went and there a bargain made,
All for to have his sweeping clothes and furthermore she said,
“If thou for me my counsel keep, here’s a guinea I’ll give to thee;
And let thy little sweeping boy to go along with me.”

She straightway learned the boy his tale, these words to him did say:
“If thou wilt act thy part right well, here is a crown for thee.”
With a pair of ram’s horns on her head, in a lonesome place stood she,
And as for black the sweeping boy sat under a tree.

Between the hours of twelve and one, as you for truth shall hear,
This lawyer he came trudging home from the courting of his dear.
In stepping o’er to shun the dirt, as I for truth do tell,
She nimbly caught him by the skirts, crying “Oh, poor Nell!”

And with a doleful hollow voice these words to him did say:
“According to the promise you made, I’m come to take you away.
You must away along with me down to my gloomy cell,
Or else tomorrow by break of day you wed poor Nell.”

With this, the little sweeping boy set fire to a train
Which wrapt and cracked about his legs, and made him roar amain.
“Oh, master devil! Spare me now, and mark what I do tell:
Tomorrow by the break of day, I’ll wed poor Nell.”

“See that you do,” the devil he said, “and mark well what I say:
You see my little devil sitting under yonder tree?
And if ever you offer to break your vow, as sure as hell is hell,
That little devil shall fetch you and carry you to his cell.”

The lawyer he went home in a most dreadful fright,
And early the next morning as soon as it was light,
With staring eyes and trembling limbs, he looked most wondrous pale.
He went to her with a humble voice: “Good morning, dear Nell.”

With kisses and with compliments, he gained her consent,
And having got the licence, unto the church they went.
There he made her his lawful bride, as I for truth do tell,
And ever since lived a happy life, saying, “Oh, brave Nell!”

She never told nor friend nor foe the project she had played,
Till nine months were gone and past, and she’d been put to bed.
She told it to her gossipers, which pleased them right well.
The husband laughed, and smiling said, “Well done, brave Nell!”


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: GUEST,Gaffer
Date: 08 Jan 02 - 08:03 PM

The judge is the good guy in "Maggie May" - sends the thieving tart off to New South Wales. It is interesting to note that in general, folk song in England and Ireland tends to favour the criminal only if the victim is not a sailor! (Generalisations are always widely inaccurate but it's much quicker to make one and wait for the uproar than to keep your mouth shut until you've done all the research!)


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: GUEST,Gaffer
Date: 08 Jan 02 - 08:05 PM

Hey - I'm a guest again - summat must have cooked my cookie!


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Gaffer
Date: 08 Jan 02 - 08:22 PM

My cookie's back! The Wild Colonial Boy robbed Judge MacEvoy - at least part of the motive for this dreadful criminal act was that His Worship was unfortunate enough to rhyme with "Wild", "Colonial" or "Boy". In the "Dublin Jack of all trades" version I have, yer man became, in Green Street, not only a lawyer but "an honest lawyer" at that!


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Subject: RE: Songs About Lawyers or the Law
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 08 Jan 02 - 11:40 PM

In other words, a remarkable anomaly!

Aloha,
Mark


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