East Bay View (a blog about several things)

now 98% free of substantive content

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Pink's "Dear Mr. President"

(Watch a live performance on YouTube.)

"You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine" is the money line; it's a cheap shot, but at this point in history it's entirely fair. (Then again, I think the chorus in the Coup's "Head of State" -- "Bush and Hussein together in bed/Giving H-E-A-D head" -- is borderline kosher, and unlike Pink's line it's not literally true.) I'm loath to declare "Dear Mr. President" Pink's best song, because "Don't Let Me Get Me" and "Get the Party Started" are exceptional in different ways. But it's a better piece of writing than anything on Neil Young's admirable, more mediagenic new album Living with War. (Young does have one conceptual coup: on "Let's Impeach the President", he sings "flip, flop" over contradicting Bush soundbytes. When someone contradicted themselves like that back in my day, we called him or her a "liar".)

Pink, for her part, is more literary: the song's structured at first as an modest invitation for Bush to take a walk with her, as she questions him on personal politics, and gets progressively angrier: "You don't know nothing 'bout hard work/Hard work/Hard work". And more than that, it's an amazing exploration of empathy. Who cares about the homeless in 2006 when they're politically irrelevant? Pink does, you should, a President damn well should. And she even extends her empathy to lonely boy Bush himself -- but by the end she knows it's futile, he'll never have time for him, better to try to convince those who do.

So: best Indigo Girls song ever.


Post a Comment

<< Home