Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ramblin' Prose: A Song Parody about Sarah Palin's Resignation Speech

Excerpt from Sarah Palin, the Anti-Poet by John Lundberg (Huffington Post—July 19, 2009)

Watching Sarah Palin resign the other week, I remembered how frustrating it is to listen to her speak. She uses simple words, but combines them into a fog that's hard to penetrate, out of which a few political clichés like "freedom" and "reform" appear. Most politicians, of course, obfuscate to some degree, but Palin is a master, and she does it constantly. Look at how she turns a simple statement into a mind-numbing puzzle (this is from Hart Seely's terrific collection of found poems taken from actual Sarah Palin quotes):

You know,
Small mayors,
Mayors of small towns--
Quote, unquote--
They're on the front lines.

A quick analysis reveals why understanding Palin can be such a challenge. She follows a folksy "you know" with a clear misstatement--"small mayors"--which she follows with a clarification, which she then amends with the inexplicable "quote, unquote." By the time she gets to her point--that small town mayors are on the front lines (which she could have simply said)--one is too bogged down in misstatements, repetitions, poor syntax and folksiness to know what to think. This is, no doubt, why her interviewers often look a bit stunned, jaw slightly agape, when Palin finishes answering a question: they don't have a clear idea of what she said.

You can read the rest of the article here.

After listening to Palin’s resignation speech a few weeks ago, I was inspired to write a poem entitled Sarah Palin’s Swan/Duck/Goose Song. (You can read that poem here.) Soon after writing that verse, an idea for a parody of Ramblin’ Rose, a song made famous by the late Nat King Cole, popped into my head. You’ll find that parody, Ramblin’ Prose, below. The rhythm may be off a bit in my version--what the heck! But first…I thought you might want to listen to the original version of the song as sung by Cole in the following video:

Ramblin’ Rose Sung by Nat King Cole

Ramblin’ Prose: A Song Parody about Sarah Palin’s Resignation Speech

Ramblin’ prose, ramblin’ prose
What you’re sayin’ no one knows.
Your speech is inchoate—needs more work.
It’s just a mishmash of ramblin’ prose.

Ramble on, ramble on
Your thoughts meander—hither…yon.
You’re talkin’ ragtime—that’s your style.
Just keep on ramblin’ until you’re gone.

Ramblin’ prose, ramblin’ prose
Why you’re resignin’, heaven knows.
You’ve given your reasons, so you say—
But we’re bewildered by your ramblin’ prose.

Your ramblin’ prose did not disclose
If you’ll run for president. I suppose
You’ll write a memoir, go work at FOX.
You’ll keep on ramblin’ with your prose.


  1. Cross your fingers
    and your toes
    that we've heard the last
    of her ramblin' prose

  2. Tim,

    Thanks for your little quatrain on Palin's "ramblin' prose." I do think the comedians will miss her if she leaves the political scene. She's such an inspiration--even to folks like us.

  3. Love your song parady! And as you say, she is inspirational..... (just not politically)

  4. Jim,

    Thanks! Sarah P. is the politician who was the original inspiration for me to write political verses. I started writing after I watched her presentation at the Republican National Convention last year.

    She is indeed inspirational. You betcha!

  5. Another pitch-perfect Palin poem!

  6. You know,
    political poets,
    poets of political blogs,
    quote unquote

  7. Thanks, Mary Lee.

    Julie, I just hope that I, one day, may be able, ya know, to pen poems that are as coherent and to the point and lack excess verbiage with lots of clarity and meaning and, winkwink, rhythm and that would make readers think and feel--just like Sarah P. Oh, if I only had her verbal/writerly talents!