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Musical Consumer Credit

posted by Bob Lawless

Back when Jack Ayer was guest blogging for us, he led us to create a whole new blog posting category for Literature on Credit & Bankruptcy. Jack single-handedly raised the literacy quotient on Credit Slips. I have books too, most of which I color in and sometimes I even stay within the lines. Maybe someday I'll post about those books.

Today, however, my query is about a different artistical endeavor -- music. What great music exists that touches upon consumer credit? For me, the all-time classic is "MasterCharge" by blues legend Albert Collins. It starts:

My wife has a charge card
Well, I got it the other day
I owe five hundred dollars

Yes, just for yesterday

You can get a 30-second sample of the song here from Amazon.com. There is also "It's Always Christmas Time for Visa" by the Austin Lounge Lizards, a song on which I previously blogged. It's a light-hearted tune that appears to have been written for Consumers Union. The title says it all.

When it comes to music, I am like the nonmagical muggles in the Harry Potter series. I know what music is and like to be around it, but I can't do it myself. Surely there are are many more great tunes around consumer credit issues. Isn't every other country music song about being broke? What other tunes belong this list?


Although the entire song isn't consumer credit oriented - the following verse seems about right to me.

"The percentage you're paying is too high priced
While you're living beyond all your means
And the man in the suit has just bought a new car
on the profit he's made from your dreams."

Traffic - "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys"

I don't know any original songs, but I write bankruptcy lyrics to popular tunes. Here is an example. (I have others.)

(To the tune of Dylan’s "The Times They Are A-Changin’ ")

Come debtors’ lawyers
Wherever you are
I have some things to say
To the bankruptcy bar
This new bankruptcy act
Is a law to abhor
It is your clients
That need savin’
Enlist now with NACBA
It’s time to declare war
For the Code needs some more changin’

Come law clerks and judges
Who interpret this law
You’re fleshing its meaning
While the meat is still raw
This distateful task
Must stick in your craw
The creditors, you
Should be blamin’
They drafted this damn law
With all of its flaws
For the Code needs some more changin’

Come Senators, Congressmen
Let us be heard
Though Zywicki says
Change nary a word
His mercenary view
Is skewed and absurd
The mendacity
Is simply amazin’
Some balance to the law
Soon must be restored
For the Code needs some more changin’

Listen up middle class
In the U S of A
Please grasp the fact
You’ve a dog in this fray
You hang by a thread
And survives day to day
Your sense of security
Is rapidly fadin’
A job loss or illness
And your debts you can’t pay
And the Code needs some more changin’

© William E. Brewer, Jr.

Ah, I hate to reveal my Midwestern roots, and my age, but The Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun" was a bank song, soft focus, young couple needing to buy stuff for home...

"Be a Clown" by Cole Porter.

I have quoted the lyrics of two songs to Judge Small here in the EDNC:

First, Vince Gill's "Give Me One More Last Chance".

Secondly, since North Carolina (along with the inferior State to our immediage south) is the home of beach music (The Tams, the Drifters, The Platters) "Stay" by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs. Those of you who are older than I are probably familiar with the Jackson Browne cover of this song. Key lyric: "Won't you stay just a little bit longer."

Billy Brewer
Raleigh, NC

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