Hearing the kerfuffle about Mitt Romney’s comments at a supposedly private fundraiser about the freeloading 47%, I was reminded of this ballad about a train wreck. The Wreck of the Old 97 is something that really happened back in late September of 1903. An engineer, Steve Broady, was urged by his superiors to get the mail delivered on time even though he was well behind schedule. The results were disastrous.
Every political candidate who has handlers is constantly under pressure to stay “on message”, even if it means following a rather narrow track. I can only imagine how tempting it is to simply push the throttle forward and feel the wind tousle your beautiful hair!
Here’s the original version of The Wreck of the Old 97.
Well they fed him the numbers for his target percentage
sayin’ “don’t speak this out loud.”
But you can never appeal to the frail 47
They’re a whiney liberal crowd.
So he turned around and said to his hoity toity funders
“We can win it with 53
If we pick up every voter between Lynchburg and Danville
that’s including you and me”
There was someone in the crowd taking pictures with a camera
of the whole off-record speech.
Then he posted it online just to cause a lot of trouble
What a lazy, shiftless leech!
So they backpedaled all day. Every interview on cable
started with that thing he said.
About victims and entitlements and living on the dole
and how cheesecake is not like bread.
So now all you politicians better keep on your message
’til your eyeballs start to burn.
Never say another word about the pampered 47
or your older tax returns.
When have you become completely derailed?