Tuesday, July 26, 2005

L&S: "Interstate Commerce Blues," EU Verse

Although the 2005 Pitzer Liberty & Society Seminar ended over a week ago, I'm still catching up on my posts about it. Call it not "liveblogging," but "livedblogging." Sorry for the delay but, as the lovely dgm describes, I've been busy sweating, getting puked on, and sleeping in stretch limos.

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-AndrĂ© ("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



Anonymous said...

ah yes, and those posts took forever to read--there were a lot of them!
oh, and did the girls swoon at this performance as it did at your chapman's performance (so i've heaerd)?

one thing i did glean from all those posts was that you four had more fun than the students it seemed; or with each other.

and why does kai throw up so much? does he have some kind of an aversion/allergic reaction to milk?

Tom W. Bell said...

Question 1 is too much like, "Do you still beat your wife?" for me to tackle, thanks.

You should check out the students' blog, at http://cafeliberty.blogspot.com/, if you doubt that they had--and continue to have--fun.

Kai's fine. He just has it in for us, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

oh no, i have no doubt that they had a blast.
and judging from how much fun you four had, they also probably had a good time having you guys lead the conference.