Day 20, Song 28

Wesley Stace

Mr. Tangerine Man [live]

Wesley Stace has released one album and published four novels; as John Wesley Harding, he has been making music and releasing albums since 1988. His next album, Wesley Stace’s John Wesley Harding, recorded with The Jawhawks, will be released next February by Yep Roc Records.

I wanted to offer the world, in these queasy times, an uplifting, immediately familiar, comic protest song in the '60s style: one voice and an acoustic guitar. It’s what folksingers do. I was actually in the middle of writing "Here’s to the State of Donald Trump" (an update of "Here’s to the State of Mississippi" by Phil Ochs, which he himself refitted as "Here’s to the State of Richard Nixon") at the behest of Phil’s sister, Sonny, for the Philadelphia Folk Festival that coming weekend, when my friend Roger Clark sent the idea and outline for “Mr. Tangerine Man." Roger himself is pastiche royalty, ever since he first mashed "Stairway to Heaven" and the Gilligan’s Island theme song under the name Little Roger and The Goosebumps. “Mr. Tangerine Man" is especially written to be played at Folk Festivals to people who mostly agree with you. I’m English and I don’t get to vote in America; I just look on in horror and wonder what to do—until I remember to play a song.


Hey, Mr. Tangerine Man What's that on your head? Is it alive or is it dead? Do you keep it on in bed? How often is it fed? We’re dying for a peek To see what’s under it Hey Mr. Tangerine Man  Waving to your fans It's all about those little hands Your nonexistent master plan But on a mid-November morning No one’s following you Your mama must have told you:  “Donald, you can do no wrong You're handsome, big and strong You'll struggle hard and long Despite your sacrifice, they’ll hate you Cos you’re ravishing" When you look into the mirror Tell me what is it you see?  Is it The One and Only Me?  Someone we all want to be?  In your own reality With your weirdo family & Casino Golf Club dreams Amid the ruins of other schemes And Trump University And the many other gifts That you’ve been lavishing Chorus And in case there’s any question, I’m a white man just like you Not a black man or a Jew Or a Muslim or Hindoo But I’m scared of what you'd do You’d blow us all to Timbuctoo Please bid the phone adieu It’s time to stop the insults   And the tweeting It’s not hard to kill an Elephant & that’s just what you did Like your inbred rat-tooth kids It’s fair game and you’re pure id Who you trying to kid With your presidential bid You’re either gonna flip your lid Or shut down the whole grid Even rich men get outbid And you’ll claim it’s rigged Before you take your beating Hey Mr. Tangerine Man Leave your gilded throne Call back your campaign loans Maybe throw the hawks a bone Send the Muslims home Then kill’ em with a drone They'll never know what hit em Hey Mr. Tangerine Man Waving to your fans It's all about those little hands Your nonexistent master plan  But on a mid-November morning No one’s following you