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“Mayor 1 Percent” inspires bankster protest song

Friday, Apr 27, 2012

* The Occupy Chicago folks have taken to calling Rahm Emanuel “Mayor 1 Percent” for his policies that favor the wealthy and powerful. But the former investment banker has a leftier side. Rolling Stone interviewed Todd Snider recently about his new album and Rahm came up in the conversation

Q: Your new album has a song called “New York Banker,” where the chorus is, “Good things happen to bad people.” Is it true Rahm Emanuel gave you the idea for that song?

A: Yeah. Before this show in Chicago, I was working on a song about the military industrial complex or some [stuff]. Rahm, who’s a fan, came backstage, and I was telling him about it. He said that bankers were a bigger threat to normal people than the military, and that if Woody Guthrie was looking for a song, he’d probably be going after those bankers. And I said, “Well, I’ll give it a try.”

* I love Todd Snider, and his new album is killer. This is the only version of “New York Banker” that I could find on YouTube, and the quality isn’t great

* From the lyrics

All these years, Arkansas, teachin’ at the high school
How was I to know by retirement day
I’d learn a lesson so cruel?
I came to the day I had waited on
Just to find out all the money in our pension was gone
We invested in somethin’ called the Abacus Bond
Sold to us by a New York banker

Good things happen to bad people, bad people, bad people

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


10 Comments
  1. - AlphaBettor - Friday, Apr 27, 12 @ 10:12 am:

    As the person who coined the nickname “Mayor 1%,” I would have thought this song was ABOUT Rahm Emanuel.


  2. - Ratman - Friday, Apr 27, 12 @ 10:13 am:

    So if I am a banker, and make tens of millions, all I have to say is “Bankers are a threat!” and I’m a lefty?

    Low bar, man….real low bar.


  3. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Apr 27, 12 @ 10:15 am:

    I was at that show and Rahm came out to announce Todd Snider, cool to know what was happening backstage.


  4. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 27, 12 @ 10:25 am:

    Good things certainly happened to Emanuel. He made about $16 million in a little more than two years as an investment banker, not to mention his Freddie Mac paydays.

    It will be interesting to see what good things happen to the investment bankers in his infrastructure trust. I still can’t figure out what it is, or why it’s superior to revenue bonds.

    No one lends you money for free.


  5. - Shore - Friday, Apr 27, 12 @ 10:30 am:

    The best part of the occupy protests last fall was watching Jan Schakowsky out there protesting with folks who were carrying anti-rahm signs. It’s absolutely hilarious that the jesse jacksons’s, jan’s, quigley, et al who rail against wall street are so in love with Rahm. I can’t wait to see if Jan, Quigley et al will be out there with the NATO protesters supporting the causes like ending the war in afghanistan, supporting teachers unions, fighting the 1% that our congressional delegation are so passionate about.


  6. - Irish - Friday, Apr 27, 12 @ 10:35 am:

    “Add money grubbin Legislator” and you would have a hit.


  7. - MrJM - Friday, Apr 27, 12 @ 11:05 am:

    If Woody Guthrie was looking for a song, he’d probably be asking, “What rhymes with Rahm?”

    – MrJM


  8. - Reality Check - Friday, Apr 27, 12 @ 11:22 am:

    if Woody Guthrie was looking for a song, he’d probably be going after those bankers.

    Woody himself actually wrote that song. It’s called “Jolly Banker” and it was recorded by Rahm’s pals in Wilco:

    “If you show me you need it, I’ll let you have credit,
    I’m a jolly banker, jolly banker am I. …
    I’ll come and foreclose, get your car and your clothes,
    Singin’ I’m a jolly banker, jolly banker am I.”

    An acerbic lyric. I like it, but not as much as this one called “Chicago, Chicago,” which Woody likely wrote around 1944:

    “Chicago’s my home and I love her, God knows
    I’ll follow her wild wind wherever she blows
    She’s a solid rock town, and solid steel, too
    She’ll be solid union before I get through. …
    It’s hell in Chicago when the wind sings a tune,
    But the worst thing in town is this Chicago Tribune.”


  9. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 27, 12 @ 11:24 am:

    As usual, MrJM uses just a few words to get right to the heart of things.


  10. - Steven Williams - Friday, Apr 27, 12 @ 7:59 pm:

    Wow, I’ve lurked around here for years and never thought I would have anything in common with STL. I got hooked on Todd Snider when I went to school in Memphis and saw him play with the Nervous Wrecks down on the Highland strip and the Beale Street Music Festival. I can’t believe he finally made Capitol Fax!

    In fact, yesterday I picked up my guitar for the first time in about a year and the first song that came out was Alright Guy.


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