Brother, Can You Spare….


What a long strange trip it’s… nah, wrong music. It has, though, been the end of an era. Probably. Remember “Greed is good”? Remember Milken, and Boesky, and Schwarzman? Remember the parties, and the cocaine, and the opulence? Yeah, well, my dad remembered when his house was first wired for electricity, and the magic of turning on a bare lightbulb. Your kids and grandkids will find it all rather amusing.

I have given up predicting the future, but it certainly feels different this time. Seven Hundred Billion Dollars.

Actually, it feels like “dollars” are the wrong monetary unit. History has enshrined a particular coin as the touchstone of such situations… and even though the melody has to accommodate just a bit, it still has the right feel.

They used to tell me streets were paved with gold, they told me greed was good,
There were stocks and bonds and buildings to sell, millions to make if I could.
They used to tell me streets were paved with gold, all across this great land,
Why should I be off to D.C., holding out my hand?

Once I built a market, I watched it grow, every day in The Times
Once I built a market, well, you know… Brother, can you spare me…
Seven trillion dimes
Once I worked on Wall Street, I rolled in dough, with my partners in crimes
Once I worked on Wall Street, well, you know… Brother can you spare me…
Seven trillion dimes

Once in tacky suits, with condos to sell
Bullish on sub-prime real estate loans
Half a trillion bucks in short-terms as well
And I was the guy with the phones

Say, don’t you remember, you called me Hank, all throughout the Dow’s climbs
Say, don’t you remember, I ran your bank, buddy can you spare me…
Seven trillion dimes

Once in tacky suits, with condos to sell
Bullish on sub-prime real estate loans
Half a trillion bucks in short-terms as well
And I was the guy with the phones

Say, don’t you remember, you called me Hank, all throughout the Dow’s climbs
Say, don’t you remember, I ran your bank, buddy can you spare me…
Seven trillion dimes

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the memoryOf exponential growthAnd presidential oathsI might’ve been a borrowerBut never was an oafHow lucky I was

  2. says

    Howard–I can even hear the melody!IKnotted–Roy Zimmerman is one of my heroes; I was in the audience when the first set of his youtube videos were taped. Of course, his song has much better wordplay (first off, he’s the man… secondly, I was constrained by the original’s rhyme and meter), but if he ever wants to sing any of mine, I would be honored. (yeah, like that could happen.)

  3. says

    Wonderful, Mona!The sad and scary thing is, when I followed your link I found the song was written in 1980! No wonder it all seems so familiar…

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