Lyrics Without Music
By Arnold Kling
Craig Wieland sent me a copy of Pointed Poems, a book of conservative poetry that he has composed. Since this is a unique book, it is difficult to know what standards to use to evaluate it. I am inclined to think of it as a collection of song lyrics, and thus to compare it with Woody Guthrie’s oevre.
The rhythm in the poems tends to be too uneven to be set to music. Also, the ideas are more complex than what a typical folk song tries to convey. But, as with Woody Guthrie, you have to be impressed with Wieland’s passion and creativity.
Woody Guthrie’s lyrics are appealing because he is a spokesman for the downtrodden. Probably my favorite of his songs is Deportee, which expresses sympathy for illegal immigrants, a sentiment shared by many of us on the libertarian side.
These days, I do not think anyone genuinely speaks for the downtrodden. Instead, we have pretenders. The right pretends to be oppressed, and the left pretends to be black.
What I would like to see is a book of “songs to sing to your teacher.” It would be a set of songs that mock the political viewpoint taught in public schools. Craig Wieland has not quite written the lyrics for those songs. But I think he could.