Carved in Song

Talking White House Cleaning Blues

04:17 Download
Greg Trafidlo
Greg Trafidlo & Ron Sowell

Story

Cleaning up after the Bush years. Tom Paxton said about the song, "Loved it, and more to the point, Woody would have loved it." Harmonica by co-writer, Ron Sowell, musical director on National Public Radio's "Mountain Stage."

Lyrics

TALKIN' WHITE HOUSE CLEANING BLUES

      Greg Trafidlo & Ron Sowell © 2008

Well I lost my job at the end of ‘o8
Downsized and out - was my my fate
Nothing to wear, nothin’ to do
So I found me a job on a cleaning crew
Cleaning offices, cleaning buildings
Cleaning houses….
in Washington D.C.

Worked real hard… In no time it seems
They put me in charge of my own team
One day the boss said “I want you…
To go to Pennsylvania Avenue
1600! Big ole place Got a fence around it
..and a flag on top”

Now, I heard the man who lived in the house
Was eager to leave, and get on out
Back to Texas to clear his head
Hanging out on his little spread
Cutting Brush…Spending time in his library
With his book!….Coloring

The guard at the gate let us through
But only after an hour or two
Verified ID’s. X-Rayed the van
Background checks. I’m telling you man
He was thorough!… Bomb sniffing dogs
I’m talking’ cavity searches.

They gave us clearance
and we commenced to clean
We brought in brooms
And the steam machine
We cleaned the couches walls and stairs
Cleaned the windows and chandeliers
It was spotless….we were tired
So we laid down to take a nap…
In the Lincoln Bedroom.

Then we moved on to the second floor
At the end of the hall was a big oak door
A brass plate said President
We turned the knob and in we went
Strange room..
No corners.... Big desk...
Red phone

We shook the dust from the Stripes and Stars
And from an old box of Cuban cigars
Washed out a dirty coffee mug
Lifted the corner of the presidential rug
That’s when we got a big surprise!
It was amazing!
What they covered up

Intelligence reports-never been read
Stacks of votes with hanging chads
A request to the Pope for absolution
WMD’s, the Constitution
From Halliburton, thank you cards
Missing records from the National Guard
And perhaps the most surprising find
It was a child left behind!

Under a bookcase…a secret door
With steps down to another floor
Deep, deep in a basement where
We found a cave called “Chaney’s Lair”
But we couldn’t find that Chaney..whatever it is!
Met another fellow tough...Tall guy
No sense of humor
His name was Ben! Benny… Benny Laden

Said he was from the Secret Service
But he talked real funny…made me nervous
So we said goodbye….went back upstairs
Mighty glad to get out of there
I dusted the lights…and a two way mirror
And everything got a whole bunch clearer…
Once we replaced the dim bulb

Sometimes I ponder what it means
Did it really happen or was it just a dream
But the proof’s right there on my living room wall
A souvenir that says it all—
Big banner…. Bold and brash
Tells how good it feels to clean the house…
And take out the trash…
Just says “Mission Accomplished!”

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