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songs about utilities (!?)

dr soul 18 May 01 - 01:17 AM
marty D 18 May 01 - 01:21 AM
Bert 18 May 01 - 01:23 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 18 May 01 - 05:04 AM
Lyndi-loo 18 May 01 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,Rana 18 May 01 - 07:45 AM
Charley Noble 18 May 01 - 08:23 AM
LR Mole 18 May 01 - 08:46 AM
Mrrzy 18 May 01 - 08:52 AM
Charley Noble 18 May 01 - 09:07 AM
Robby 18 May 01 - 09:35 AM
Robby 18 May 01 - 09:36 AM
Robby 18 May 01 - 09:38 AM
dick greenhaus 18 May 01 - 09:39 AM
Lyndi-loo 18 May 01 - 09:44 AM
LR Mole 18 May 01 - 09:48 AM
Sorcha 18 May 01 - 09:48 AM
InOBU 18 May 01 - 10:18 AM
Matt_R 18 May 01 - 10:27 AM
KingBrilliant 18 May 01 - 10:34 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 18 May 01 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 18 May 01 - 11:19 AM
Jim Dixon 18 May 01 - 12:00 PM
pattyClink 18 May 01 - 02:34 PM
KathWestra 18 May 01 - 03:44 PM
GUEST 18 May 01 - 04:13 PM
Jacob B 18 May 01 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,Philippa 18 May 01 - 06:00 PM
gnu 18 May 01 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,riGGy @ work 18 May 01 - 08:12 PM
Mark Cohen 18 May 01 - 08:25 PM
dr soul 18 May 01 - 10:30 PM
UB Ed 19 May 01 - 10:32 AM
UB Ed 19 May 01 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,Carol Denney 19 May 01 - 01:15 PM
Charley Noble 19 May 01 - 01:38 PM
dr soul 19 May 01 - 05:46 PM
Charley Noble 19 May 01 - 07:03 PM
Howard Kaplan 20 May 01 - 02:48 PM
The Walrus 20 May 01 - 03:44 PM
Jacob B 21 May 01 - 04:15 PM
Charley Noble 22 May 01 - 09:16 AM
GUEST,kytrad 22 May 01 - 11:53 AM
GUEST 19 Jan 10 - 10:11 AM
Jack Campin 19 Jan 10 - 11:05 AM
cptsnapper 19 Jan 10 - 11:41 AM
agingcynic 19 Jan 10 - 11:46 AM
JohnInKansas 19 Jan 10 - 03:08 PM
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Subject: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: dr soul
Date: 18 May 01 - 01:17 AM

I have been asked, along with a couple of other folk/blues players, to provide music for an evening campfire sing-along at [I know this is mildly bizarre] a conference of utility regulators - you know, the folks who set rates for telephone, gas, and electric companies.

Being good Northwesterners, we've already thought of Woody Guthrie's "Roll On Columbia". We've come up with a number of lyrics that mention telephones ("Long distance information, get me Memphis Tennesee . . .", "Helloooo, Baby, It's the Big Bopper . . .", etc.)

We also have a fair number of song parodies inspired by California's electricty restructuring fiasco: (to the tune of Dylan's "Don't think twice") "You paid twice, it's all right," and (to the tune of Rawhide) "Rolling, rolling, rolling, keep them black-outs rolling . . . "! ;)

Anyway, we still feel a trifle thin on the song list, and any ideas you may have would be very much appreciated. (BTW, I've been hanging at Mudcat for only a month or so, but y'all really feel like community - thanks!)

Jeffrey Showman aka dr soul


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: marty D
Date: 18 May 01 - 01:21 AM

Well, "Operator" by Jim Croce.

These are the people who SET the rates? Hope there's a few folkies among them. Doesn't sound like a mellow macrame crowd.

marty


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Bert
Date: 18 May 01 - 01:23 AM

Water, coool cleeear water!


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 18 May 01 - 05:04 AM

Wichita Lineman


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Lyndi-loo
Date: 18 May 01 - 07:40 AM

Junpin Jack Flash, It's a GAS


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: GUEST,Rana
Date: 18 May 01 - 07:45 AM

Related though not exaxtly about the regulators -

"The gas man came to call" (or such like} by Flanders and Swan

"but it all makes work for the working man to do..."

Rana


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 May 01 - 08:23 AM

How about a nice country blues version of "Keep on the Sunny Side" and then there's always Bill Steele's "Garbage." I'll review my Malvina Reynolds' collection later today.


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: LR Mole
Date: 18 May 01 - 08:46 AM

There's a man who comes to our house every single day
Papa comes home and the man goes away
Papa does the work and mama gets the pay
Papa comes home and the man goes away

The man who comes to my house comes to fix the phone
He never brings his toolbox, and he always comes alone
And just before he goes away, I guess I oughta mention,
He goes upstairs to mama's room and fixes her extension.
(That's all I remember. Tune is close to "Bell Bottom Trousers"


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 May 01 - 08:52 AM

A lessened utility... and the rest of that tirade from When You're Old And Grey?

Operator, and Memphis Information, yes. Big Grand Coolee Dam?


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 May 01 - 09:07 AM

You could try caulking gun drill team chants such as "RADIATION IN THE BREEZE, BLAME IT ON THE KILLER TREES!", attributed to Ronald Reegan musings about the danger of Redwoods.

Then there's Woody Guthrie's musing in one of his talking blues "I don't care too much for politicians; I think this whole country should be run by E-LEC-TRI-CI-TY."


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Robby
Date: 18 May 01 - 09:35 AM

It's not folk, but back in the 70s, I believe, there was a pop song called "Telephone Man". The chorus of which started something like this:

Hey, baby. I'm the telephone man.
If you tell me where you want it,
Then I'll put it where I can.....

Unfortunately, or fortunately, perhaps, I don't remember too much about it.
Robby


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Robby
Date: 18 May 01 - 09:36 AM

It's not folk, but back in the 70s, I believe, there was a pop song called "Telephone Man". The chorus of which started something like this:

Hey, baby. I'm the telephone man.
If you tell me where you want it,
Then I'll put it where I can.....

Unfortunately, or fortunately, perhaps, I don't remember much else about it.
Robby


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Robby
Date: 18 May 01 - 09:38 AM

I forgot, there is also another pop song, from the 50s or 60s, forget which, "BEechwood 4-5769".
Age and the mind. *g*
Robby


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 May 01 - 09:39 AM

Woody did a bunch of songs for the Columbia River Dam Project. There's a lot of anti-nuke songs. Also Coal mining songs.


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Lyndi-loo
Date: 18 May 01 - 09:44 AM

There was a peom which began "It was on a Monday morning that the gasman came to call....". I don't know any more words but I think it was in the nature of a comic monologue like Albert and the Lion


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: LR Mole
Date: 18 May 01 - 09:48 AM

Oh, yeah. "Coal Tattoo", "Dark As A Dungeon", "Sixteen Tons".
And didn't Steve Goodman do "Watchin' Joey Glow"?


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Sorcha
Date: 18 May 01 - 09:48 AM

Is Croce's "Operator" the same as "Hello Operator" that De Dannan did?
"Hello My Honey, hello my baby, send me a kiss by wire" (not really about telephones, but mentions the thing)


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: InOBU
Date: 18 May 01 - 10:18 AM

There is the Crew of the SS Shieldhall, from Glasgow, I believe about the ship that takes the raw sewage out to dump (no pun intened) in the atlantic. I have often asked for the words here, but no one seems to have em.... Larry


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Matt_R
Date: 18 May 01 - 10:27 AM

No Sorch, Jim Croce's it "Operator, could you help me place this call..." also known as "Operator (That's The Way It Goes)". DeDannan's is a gospel number..."Operator, information, give me Jesus on the line...". Unless DeDannan did ANOTHER Operator song!! Lol!!

Telephone Line --ELO
Don't Leave The Light On Baby --Belle & Sebastian

Then there always "Trashman," my parody of "Taxman"...


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 18 May 01 - 10:34 AM

What about that 6543789 or whatever. You know, the one that goes 'if you need some good loving call on me ..... I'll be right here at home all you gotta do is pick up the telephone and dial 6543789.......' - must be available on harmony central or some such lyrics & chords site
The gas man came to call thing is The gas man cometh.

Kris


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 18 May 01 - 11:13 AM

Well, in that case, Pennsylvania 6500


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 18 May 01 - 11:19 AM

And that classic from Champion Jack Dupree and others:Put out your can, here comes the garbage man.(Not to mention My Old Man's a Dustman by you-know-who)
RtS


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 May 01 - 12:00 PM

Robby: I think that was "BEechwood 4-5789." Yes, it is incredible how things like that stick in your memory. Most of the time I can't remember my best friends' phone numbers.


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: pattyClink
Date: 18 May 01 - 02:34 PM

Jim, In this case Robby and Otis Redding are correct, it is 634-5789 as he recorded it. Probably on the Blues Brothers sequel soundtrack too..


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: KathWestra
Date: 18 May 01 - 03:44 PM

Not a song, but a rhyme -- in a verse form known as the "double dactyl" or, less high-falutingly, a "higgledy piggledy." The requirement of this verse form is that it include "higgledy piggledy" as the first line, the name of a person as the second line, a description of what he/she does/did in the subsequent lines, ending with a pun. My all-time favorite (these folks would probably not think it nearly so funny):

Higgledy piggledy,
Thomas A. Edison
Turned on the lights with a wave of his wand,
Giving his name to some organizational
Chaps in whose name we are now being Conned.


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: GUEST
Date: 18 May 01 - 04:13 PM

Flanders and Swann; the gasman came to call


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Jacob B
Date: 18 May 01 - 04:48 PM

I believe that Cindy Kallet has a song about the problem of getting potable water these days. The chorus goes:

Water
Water water water water
Water we want
Water we want


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOT AIR COMPANY
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 18 May 01 - 06:00 PM

How about the Hot Air Company. I only ever heard the ditty below from my mother, so I'd be interested to read of anybody else who knows it, and any background info.

Oh someday there'll be a big company
That will buy up all the air
The rich will whiff and the poor will sniff
And there'll be no air to spare
Oh there'll be a meter, the company cheater
Will ring up as you snore
And if you're broke, you're going to choke
When they buy up all the air.

Can you picture it, folks,
There a nickel a smell
And every time you take a breath
The meter will ring a bell
Oh there'll be a meter, the company cheater
Will ring up as you snore
And if you're broke, you're going to choke
When they buy up all the air.


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: gnu
Date: 18 May 01 - 06:58 PM

Scanned the thread reeeeal quick, so I hope I'm not repeating, but I have a song on a Clancy Brothers tape somewhere, an English Vaudeville song, called, "They're Digging Father's Grave to Build a Sewer". or, "...MOVING Fath...". It's a hoot.


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: GUEST,riGGy @ work
Date: 18 May 01 - 08:12 PM

My good buddy Carol Denney wrote a GEM about our slimy utility here in Northern California, PG&E.

http://www.caroldenney.com/pgesong.htm

PG&E is your friend
Don't skimp on the money you send
Give us your dough though you're
Shivering and cold and then
Next month just send it again

PG&E needs your money so bad
Even though you gave them all that you had
Your little check doesn't go very far
When you buy an election, it costs you an arm
And a leg write your check and shut up

If you're confused, we can open your eyes
Come to Macdonald's and pick up some fries
Pick up a placemat and read till your eyes cross cause
Governor Davis has got some advice for you
Turn down your thermostat shut off your lights
And put on some more socks and shut up

Your little check is a joke don't you know
We need 8 billion before we pass go
We gotta make profits it's like a disease
We're the landlords we're Wall Street we're oil companies
We want you to be quiet and suck down the sleaze
So that we can get rich and keep you on your knees...
Get a clue write the check and shut up

If you didn't cash your stock options in time
Don't come to us with your bitching and crying
Our parent company's doing just fine
And we're tired of the way all you ratepayers whine
And you'll send all of your money to us over time
So get used to it - oh, and shut up
(optional chorus)

Go on and buy up our wires and our lines
We got you right where the sun never shines
You think you owe cause we've messed with your minds
And you think it's your fault if the spot market climbs
Caused you warmed up the soup or read past your bedtimes
And you'll pay till you're down to your last little dimes
Cause you're used to it aren't you shut up
(optional chorus)

HTML line breaks added --JoeClone, 30-Sep-01.


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 18 May 01 - 08:25 PM

Here's one I did to the tune of Stan Rogers' "Northwest Passage". It should be right up your alley, as it's about a telephone rate increase! (Out of date, of course...so what else is new?)

For Just One Dime

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: dr soul
Date: 18 May 01 - 10:30 PM

Y'all are awesome! Thank you so much for the great ideas!


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: UB Ed
Date: 19 May 01 - 10:32 AM

John Prine's Paradise (...Mr. Peabody's coal train has hauled it away).


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: UB Ed
Date: 19 May 01 - 10:37 AM

Hey Doc, specifically when and where is this event?


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: GUEST,Carol Denney
Date: 19 May 01 - 01:15 PM

I got "The PG&E Song, Alternatively Titled Write the Check and Shut Up" on MP3 at my website, www.caroldenney.com. Before I play it we do a healing exersise for PG&E. Carol


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 May 01 - 01:38 PM

Some other songs which haven't been mentioned:

The Sun Is Burning by Kate Wolf
Acres of Clams by Charlie King
Acceptable Risks by Charlie King
Power by The Doobie Brothers with John Hall & James Taylor
Given the new Bush plan to revive nuclear power, we need to revive some of the old songs and write another generation of new ones. Ah, the joys of having an anti-nuclear half-life!


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: dr soul
Date: 19 May 01 - 05:46 PM

Yo, UB Ed" - it's at Semiahmoo Resort, a few miles south of the BC border in Whatcom County WA. The Western Conference of Public Utility Commissioners, 1st week in June. Thanks again to everyone for the great song ideas, although, to be honest, I'm not sure how Acres of Clams fits with utilities ;) - guess I'll check out the lyrics!


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 May 01 - 07:03 PM

"Acres of Clams" is the classic anti-nuke song parody commemorating the battle between the Clamshell Alliance and the Seabrook Nuclear Plant, lest we ever forget...


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Howard Kaplan
Date: 20 May 01 - 02:48 PM

My song "Low flush", about the relationships among beef-eating, water conservation, electric power generation, and higher education, can be found on my web site at http://songsheets.thrinberry-frog.com, about 80% of the way down the page. (Sorry, I don't have the #LowFlush HTML link installed yet to give you more precise navigation.)


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: The Walrus
Date: 20 May 01 - 03:44 PM

I seem to remember "Shine your buttons" ...

"My father, he works in the sewers,
"He shovels by day and by night,
"And when he come home of an evening
"He shinks of the smell of the
"Shine your buttons with Brasso
"It's only three ha'pence a tin,
"You can buy it or nick it from Woolworths
"But I don't think they've got any in.

It's infrastructure rather than utilities, but it might do.

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Jacob B
Date: 21 May 01 - 04:15 PM

Here's a link to Howard Kaplan's web site, and here's a link directly to the song Low Flush that he mentioned.

Be warned: you may not want to read it right before eating lunch!


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 May 01 - 09:16 AM

I wonder if Britney Spears would be interested in doing a "Low-Flush" video...Seldom have a seen a song as educational as this one. Too bad it isn't funny, but neither is current energy policy or practice.


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: GUEST,kytrad
Date: 22 May 01 - 11:53 AM

"Dirty Old Town," by Ewan MacColl


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 10:11 AM

Lights by Journey


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 11:05 AM

See the two songs about the introduction of electric street lighting in Edinburgh here:

Who's Got Feet Like Arthur's Seat?


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: cptsnapper
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 11:41 AM

Down Below by Sydney Carter as sung by Ian Wallace


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: agingcynic
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 11:46 AM

The night the lights went out in Georgia

also, my equisite 'beautuful friend' which is about calling up a friend

song video here:

http://www.youtube.com/daveshiflett#p/a/u/0/fOE8sCmWeIQ


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Subject: RE: Help: songs about utilities (!?)
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 03:08 PM

Why, while thinking about a singin group of people who provide service (support) to the public, do I keep hearing the line:

Here's a quarter, call someone who cares. ... ?

John


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