Fanfare for the NEA

I’m not sure whose advice President Bush is listening to on funding the National Endowment for the Arts, but Rocket Man’s post below brings a couple of great songs to mind. First, a word from a man wise in the ways of the world — Merle Haggard:

When a President goes through the White House door,
An’ does what he says he’ll do.
We’ll all be drinkin’ free bubble-ubb,
Eatin’ that rainbow stew.
Eatin’ rainbow stew in a silver spoon,
Underneath that sky of blue.
All be drinkin’ free bubble-ubb,
An’ eatin’ that rainbow stew.

Then we turn to an all-American classic that was resuscitated for “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” — “The Big Rock Candy Mountain”:

There’s a lake of gin
We can both jump in
And the handouts grow on bushes
In the new-mown hay
We can sleep all day
And the bars all have free lunches
Where the mail train stops
And there ain’t no cops
And the folks are tender-hearted
Where you never change your socks
And you never throw rocks
And your hair is never parted.

And please don’t forget the chorus:

Oh the buzzin’ of the bees
In the cigarette trees
Near the soda water fountain
At the lemonade springs
Where the bluebird sings
On the big rock candy mountain.

UPDATE: Two readers wrote to point out that the reference in Merle’s “Rainbow Stew” lyrics should be to the old 7-Up knockoff “Bubble Up,” rather than “bubble-ubb.” I assumed everyone knew that the song and would recognize that the lyrics were phonetic! Bubble Up is owned by Monarch Beverage Company — the company whose first soft drink offering was Kickapoo Joy Juice, a citrus-flavored soda inspired by the tonic of the same name in Al Capp