Monday, February 25, 2008

A Thanksgiving Song - "One Turkey"

(Originally posted by Michelle and Jill on Nov. 21, 2007)

Michelle Lewis: "One Turkey " (MP3, 2:21)


I am going to be on NPR again this week. They asked me to write a song about Thanksgiving.

Hmmm, what could I write about? It's not the most exciting holiday. It doesn't inspire like Halloween or Hanukkah—by the way no one has come up with a great video for my Jesus Was a Dreidel Spinner contest.

I could write about the Pilgrims and the Indians, and how they really were buddy buddy for one big dinner that included canned yams with melted mini-marshmallows on top. And, how afterwards, the Pilgrims took their land.

Or how Thanksgiving used to initiate the beginning of the Christmas season. It was not until Santa finally arrived at the Macy's Day Parade that you would be allowed to put up a tree or annoy everyone with your favorite Christmas mix tape. But now Starbucks has been hawking Xmas CDs for months.

I could write about how during my eating disorder phase in the 80s how much dread I had staring at the big table adorned with a dinosaur-sized turkey and hundreds of side dishes, including the historical canned yams with melted mini-marshmallows.

Or how, despite having more discerning taste buds, I still prefer my cranberry sauce in a can.

What was suggested to me was the Presidential pardon. Every year-and I don't know how far back this tradition began- the President pardons one turkey. I could write how Bush has used his powers to free 7 turkeys and…Scooter Libby. There's got to be a song in that. Clinton, by the way, freed more than a dozen drug offenders unjustly sentenced by mandatory minimums.

Here's what I have so far:

Every year since Harry Truman, compassion has arrived for one thanksgiving bird, who is promised not to die. Kennedy had done it so had LBJ, and now again this month, George W will save.

And Pardon one lucky turkey from the roasting pan
But before he does it he has a terrible plan.

Off the coast of Cuba, he will keep him in a cage
Threaten him that Cheney will point his gun his way
Baste or waterboard him, send him to Iraq
Without body armor, in case of an attack

This is depressing and not a promising beginning. Do any of you have good ideas for a Thanksgiving song?


This is an addendum to Jill's previous post...

I was home with the baby today and thought it might to fun to go ahead and write the aforementioned presidential-turkey-pardoning song. At least, it kept the baby amused (yeah, that's him coughing in the background). Anyway, we made it a real family operation - my husband Dan played guitar, while I sang with Jackson on my lap.

I've printed the lyrics below so you can sing along.

Happy Thanksgiving!

xoxo - Michelle

"One Turkey"

Ever since Harry Truman,
Compassion arrives
For one lucky bird
Who is promised not to die.
Kennedy had done it, so had LBJ,
And again this November, George W will save...

One Turkey
One Turkey
This jerky will pardon one turkey - hooray!
One turkey
One turkey
Will still have a neck at the end of Thanksgiving Day

Don't know much about turkeys
But one thing is sure
They can't raise our taxes
Or send kids to war
They don't reward cronies
Or muck up our air
So somehow this pardoning doesn't seem fair

One Turkey
One Turkey
This jerky will pardon one turkey - hooray!
One turkey
One turkey
Will still have a neck at the end of Thanksgiving Day

The White House great lawn
Out on this Thursday morning
Their erstwhile dinner detects irony
Our one little turkey looks up at the prez
And he says,
"Wait, you're pardoning me???"

One Turkey, etc.

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