A Kick in the Career: The Economic Downturn Holiday Songbook!

01/08/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

"Music hath charms," so English poet William Congreve said it in 1697, "to soothe the savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak." I don't know about you, but given the recent official announcement of a recession (duh), my nerves have been rather like a knotted oak lately, so they could certainly use a good healthy bending.

And let's put things in perspective: when Congreve wrote those famous words, his own country had just reached an all-time high budget deficit of 16 million pounds, Scotland was in the middle of a crippling famine and new laws had to be enacted just to figure out how to finance the needs of the Royal Family. Good Sir William took the time to remind the citizenry of his day how to calm themselves with a little therapeutic music, and lo and behold they got through the bad times eventually.

Now, I lay no claim to being a bona fide poet, nor have I fashioned a quotation that will be remembered for centuries to come (unless you count "no Hannah Montana until you finish your homework," which, something tells me, is not original to me), but the least I could do is try and help us sing our way through the challenging events of our day. Feel free to join in.



New home sales, they are dropping
No one feels like going shopping
It is awful, it's true
But what can you do
Be happy that you're breathing and alive

No one has any money
It is not even funny
Your friends are all broke
But life is a joke
Be happy that you're breathing and alive

In a year the worst will sure be over
We'll be back and strong and on our feet
Unless we're second place by then to China
But being number two is just as sweet

Suck it up, we will manage
We'll repair all the damage
We're just in a slump
It's just a speed bump
Be happy that you're breathing and alive



Dashing through the mall
On a budget that is tight
Santa will not be
So generous tonight

Maxed out all my cards
On food and rent, I'm poor
No one's getting presents that are fancy anymore
Single bills, single bills, that is all I've got
It's no fun to shop these days when finances are shot
Single bills, single bills, I am spread so thin
Everything you get this year is from the bargain bin!



Oh the markets are truly frightful
I'm inclined to feel quite spiteful
But my therapist puts it so:
Let it go, let it go, let it go

The economy sure ain't hopping
And my ventricles are popping
I want to blame someone though
Let it go, let it go, let it go

When I finally get a job
I'll be drowning in bills and debt
I am trying hard not to sob
But how crappy can this thing get?

Unemployment is slowly rising
Everyone is now downsizing
But denial will work I know
Let it go, let it go, let it go!

*At this point, I was going to compose a holiday carol called "I Won't Be Home For Christmas (Owing To A Lack of Disposable Income)," but it just cut too close. Instead, I decided to close with this number:



Help us out, help us out, help us Barack
We're in a sling, so please do your thing
You are the new guy and that means so much
Do you mind being our little crutch?

Soon you'll be, soon you'll be in office, Barack
It's up to you, we haven't a clue
You have inherited quite a big mess
We expect the best!

We're in fright time, it's the right time
To tell us it's okay
Sure you're human, but things are loomin'
We need a miracle, we need it today

Hurry up, Prez-Elect, get on the stick
Solve all our problems now
We like to abdicate responsibility
So, please help us out
Won't you help us out
Please just help us Barack!

You may want to consider getting some friends together and caroling these updated versions of the classics to your neighbors. Hey, if they like them enough, they may invite you in for some eggnog and gingerbread cookies; and goodness knows that may be the only decent meal you get until the next paycheck comes in.