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Trumpin' Mac's Stash...

It'll pass, pass, pass...

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This blogging business has made me a lot more aware of certain things, such as the fact that the music industry is, collectively, a big schoolyard bully, blustering about and threatening us with swirlies in order to extort the lunch money of lowly writers by way of its absurd "Mother May I?" approach to quoting even a few words of lyrics.

Now, I'm not talking about actual distribution or performance of a song — there's a valid reason your favorite burger joint serenades you with wishes for a pleasant anniversary of the day you came into existence even though the entire staff, I'm sure, hopes you have a happy birthday — no, in this case I mean quoting a tiny snippet of the words.

- Writer: Mother, may I quote one single solitary line from "Hey Jude," the song Paul McCartney wrote in 1968 to comfort Julian Lennon following his parents' divorce?

- Big Music Bullies: Yes, you may, provided you: 1. Give full credit to Sir Paul, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Cynthia Lennon, Julian Lennon, Apple Records, every other company with Apple in its name (just to be safe), Michael Jackson, Bubbles the chimpanzee, and anyone who has ever sung, hummed or thought of the song; and 2. Send us a royalty check for 1 gazillion British Pounds (1.16 gazillion Euro or 1.55 gazillion U.S. dollars).

- Writer: Um, never mind...

And so it goes. We're so buffaloed by these thugs that no one thinks of challenging them.

A recent exchange with my friend Georgeanne jarred me into examining my own follow-the-leader behavior (baa!) when it comes to this matter. I have always called her "Georgy Girl," and have always greeted her by singing the first line of the song of the same name. Until our last get-together.

"Hey there..." — I began as usual, then paused awkwardly — "...girl."

"You don't use my name anymore?" Georgy inquired.

"That's a bit...problematic," I mumbled.

"How so?"

I explained about the Big Music Bullies and their mafioso tactics, to which Georgy, ever resourceful, offered a brilliant solution: Make up my own lyrics. So we spent the afternoon reimagining some familiar tunes...

- The Elton John classic: "Mold ye close here, Tony Danza."

- A huge hit for the King of Pop: "Millie Keen is but a cover. She just unfurled a flame that ought to be fun. Yet the bid will not be won."

- That aforementioned annual standby: "Scrappy Mirth-way too few, Scrappy Mirth-way too few, Scrappy Mirth-way, beer drinker, Scrappy Mirth-way too few (and penny poor...)."

- And my personal favorite: "I was shorn in some surefire urethane. Then I growled at a man with a shiny cane. What we won't fight, wow. This too will pass! No, we won't fight. We're trumpin' Mac's stash, it'll pass, pass, pass!"

The beauty of this one is that it makes as much sense as the original lyrics. Heck, Mick and Keith may want to use my version in the upcoming Rolling Stones Centennial Celebration concert tour, and I'll happily oblige — for a discount rate of just 1.48 gazillion U.S. dollars.

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