Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Law ditties rock

My story today, “First-year pain, third-year gain,” is about a third-year law student at University of Maryland who turned the trauma of his first year into a clever, catchy song that law students everywhere can relate to.

But I found, in trolling through YouTube for the story, that Owen Jarvis (at right) isn’t a class of one when it comes to putting legalese to music (although his song is still my favorite).

Jumane Redway penned the “Gross Income Song” after his University of Oregon tax law professor mentioned to her Federal Income Tax class that it was her dream to hear a tax rap song. The song is more R&B than rap, but the tune wins over Professor Nancy Shurtz in the video.

Kansas City patent lawyer Lana Knedlik wrote “Bar Date,” a foot-tapping, double-entendre-filled tune about looking for a dream-woman on the singles scene — “It’s so obvious to me/ her novelty… Should I appeal my case/ to make her mine?” (Hat tip to patent-law blawg Patently-O.)

Now that I’m sufficiently brainwashed, all I can think about is writing a song called “Jurisdiction,” sung to the tune of “The Inquisition,” the low-ball-humor song from actor/director Mel Brooks’ History of the World, Part I.

Thanks to online rhyming dictionaries, I’ve come up with:

Jurisdiction, where to go?
Jurisdiction, yes we know.
Let’s file a motion, to get this case removed…

We’re gonna go to district court.
We’re gonna end this pesky tort
No triable issues that they can refute!

If you were to write a song about law, what would inspire you?

-LIZ FARMER, Legal Affairs Writer

1 comment:

Stephen said...

There is this classic pre-arrest song:

ACTION
Dear kindly Sergeant Krupke,
You gotta understand,
It's just our bringin' up-ke
That gets us out of hand.
Our mothers all are junkies,
Our fathers all are drunks.
Golly Moses, natcherly we're punks!

ACTION AND JETS
Gee, Officer Krupke, we're very upset;
We never had the love that ev'ry child oughta get.
We ain't no delinquents,
We're misunderstood.
Deep down inside us there is good!

ACTION
There is good!

ALL
There is good, there is good,
There is untapped good!
Like inside, the worst of us is good!

SNOWBOY: (Spoken) That's a touchin' good story.

ACTION: (Spoken) Lemme tell it to the world!

SNOWBOY: Just tell it to the judge.

ACTION
Dear kindly Judge, your Honor,
My parents treat me rough.
With all their marijuana,
They won't give me a puff.
They didn't wanna have me,
But somehow I was had.
Leapin' lizards! That's why I'm so bad!

DIESEL: (As Judge) Right!

Officer Krupke, you're really a square;
This boy don't need a judge, he needs an analyst's care!
It's just his neurosis that oughta be curbed.
He's psychologic'ly disturbed!

ACTION
I'm disturbed!

JETS
We're disturbed, we're disturbed,
We're the most disturbed,
Like we're psychologic'ly disturbed.

DIESEL: (Spoken, as Judge) In the opinion on this court, this child is depraved on account he ain't had a normal home.

ACTION: (Spoken) Hey, I'm depraved on account I'm deprived.

DIESEL: So take him to a headshrinker.

ACTION (Sings)
My father is a bastard,
My ma's an S.O.B.
My grandpa's always plastered,
My grandma pushes tea.
My sister wears a mustache,
My brother wears a dress.
Goodness gracious, that's why I'm a mess!

A-RAB: (As Psychiatrist) Yes!
Officer Krupke, you're really a slob.
This boy don't need a doctor, just a good honest job.
Society's played him a terrible trick,
And sociologic'ly he's sick!

ACTION
I am sick!

ALL
We are sick, we are sick,
We are sick, sick, sick,
Like we're sociologically sick!

A-RAB: In my opinion, this child don't need to have his head shrunk at all. Juvenile delinquency is purely a social disease!

ACTION: Hey, I got a social disease!

A-RAB: So take him to a social worker!

ACTION
Dear kindly social worker,
They say go earn a buck.
Like be a soda jerker,
Which means like be a schumck.
It's not I'm anti-social,
I'm only anti-work.
Gloryosky! That's why I'm a jerk!

BABY JOHN: (As Female Social Worker)
Eek!
Officer Krupke, you've done it again.
This boy don't need a job, he needs a year in the pen.
It ain't just a question of misunderstood;
Deep down inside him, he's no good!

ACTION
I'm no good!

ALL
We're no good, we're no good!
We're no earthly good,
Like the best of us is no damn good!

DIESEL (As Judge)
The trouble is he's crazy.

A-RAB (As Psychiatrist)
The trouble is he drinks.

BABY JOHN (As Female Social Worker)
The trouble is he's lazy.

DIESEL
The trouble is he stinks.

A-RAB
The trouble is he's growing.

BABY JOHN
The trouble is he's grown.

ALL
Krupke, we got troubles of our own!

Gee, Officer Krupke,
We're down on our knees,
'Cause no one wants a fellow with a social disease.
Gee, Officer Krupke,
What are we to do?
Gee, Officer Krupke,
Krup you!