As (then) co-blogger Steve Horwitz noted while he actually was liveblogging the seminar, I made the students suffer through a performance of "The Interstate Commerce Blues." Practicing for that, um, pedagogical lesson led me to refine the song in various ways. I've updated the original version accordingly.
I played the tune during the Q&A part of my lecture, "Writing, Reading, and Respecting a Constitution." Although much of what I discussed applied to constitutions generally, I definitely focused on the U.S. Constitution. The lyrics of "The Interstate Commerce Blues" attest to that.
This year our seminar had an especially large number of foreign students. In particular, we had a surprising number of students from countries in the EU. In order to drive home the point that many principles of constitutional law apply generally, regardless of the foundational legal document in question, I decided to write a verse about the EU for "The Interstate Commerce Blues."
I tried to write it in French, but didn't get very far on my own. Three French-speaking Canadian students—Olivier Ballou, Heloise Robinson, and Marc-André ("Marc") Brisson very graciously took up the task. Here is the verse that they largely wrote, and that I sang as an offering, "To our friends in the EU, from your friends in North America":
The Interstate Commerce Blues: EU Verse
To the tune of "House of the Rising Sun"
Time: 3/4. Key: Am. Tempo: Moderate.
En Bel-gique y'a un Parle-ment,
Am C D F
Pour L'Union 'ropé-enne,
Am C E7
Qui fut la ruine des simples gens,
Am C D F
Par ceux qui les gou-vernent.
Am E7 Am