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TALKING INFLATION BLUES

(Tom Glazer)


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Email received from Peter Glazer (p-glazer@nwu.edu), May 23, 1998:

My father, Tom Glazer, now 83, wrote the "Inflation Talking Blues" which appears on your site, among the various lyrics you include. I came upon it while surfing, and had never heard of it.

I called him, and when I recited the lyric, he remembered it well, but hadn't thought of it in years. He was pretty amazed to hear it was "out there."

You have a fascinating site. Thanks for putting it together, and for including this little piece of talking blues history.


Covered by Bob Dylan on Minnesota Party Tape, Minneapolis, MN, Autumn 1960 (erroneously listed as "Talking Lobbyist" in Krogsgaard, Paul Williams etc.).

Lyrics as performed by John Greenway (Dylan's likely source) on "Talking Blues,"Folkways, 1958;
originally published in special issue (supplement to No. 3, Apr-May 1946 issue) of "People's Songs" against the proposed abolition of the Office of Price Administration (OPA).


Well, friends and neighbors of the United States,
Come listen to a story that's hard to relate.
Takes place in a town where the hot air blows
Over the lobbies where the filibuster grows.
Hardy Perennial. Evergreen. Stinkweed.

Now, down in that town there's a feller working there,
He ain't a barber but he gets in people's hair;
He gets paid to squeeze, gets paid to twist,
They call this critter a lobbyist.
He's high pressure. All thumbs. Fits any size buttonhole.

'Course, he's only doing his job. He's a hard worker. Gets a bonus
From the National Association of Manufacturers,
From the National Association of Real Estate Boards,
From the National Association of Dry Goods Merchants,
Big shots.

Well, this here feller, I'm sorry to say,
He's trying to kill the O.P.A.
He's trying to kill the housing bill,
And other good things he's trying to kill.
He's a killer. But he's only doing his job.
He's a hard worker. Gets a bonus
From the National Association of Manufacturers,
From the National Association of Real Estate Boards,
From the National Association of Dry Goods Merchants,
Big shots.

Well, friends and neighbors of the U.S.A.,
I'll tell you what'll happen if they kill O.P.A.
Your beat-up buck won't be worth a cent,
Prices'll fly to the firmament.
Sky high rent. Sky high food. Sky high everything.
But the lobbyist, he's only doing his job.
He's a hard worker. Gets a bonus
From the National Association of Manufacturers,
From the National Association of Real Estate Boards,
From the National Association of Dry Goods Merchants,
Big shots.

Now, if you don't want to spend ten dollars for a pound of steak,
And if you don't want to spend fifty dollars a pound for cake,
And if you don't want to spend twenty dollars a pound for greens,
Two hundred for rent, and Lord knows what for beans,
Write a card to your Congressman now, today,
Tell him to save that O.P.A.,
Tell him to fight just as hard as he's able
For the National Association of American People --
Biggest shots!


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