Brookings Fight Song: The Winners 


Last week Chatterbox broke the story  (since reported, without attribution, in the Washington Post) that the Heritage Foundation had acquired a new fight song. Chatterbox urged readers to compose lyrics for a fight song that could be adopted by the Brookings Institution. In response, Chatterbox was inundated with fight songs not only for Brookings (including this one from an anonymous Brookings staffer), but for RAND, the Independent Institute, and the American Enterprise Institute. The AEI song, submitted anonymously, was frankly disrespectful:

Old McDonnell-Douglas pledged

AEI I owe

To give a right-wing hack a job

AEI I owe

With a Bork Bork here and a Newt Newt there

Here a Bork, there a Bork, everywhere a Bork Bork

Welfare’s bad except for us

AEI I owe

The same bias could be detected in a reworking of the Heritage song by Patrick King. It began this way:

O Heritage, O Heritage

Your foundation’s built on sand.

A hollow shell where morons dwell,

A blot upon our fair land.

Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute submitted a Brookings song that was a similarly savage but ideologically quite different. Here’s a snippet (sung to the tune of “Muskrat Love“):

Brookings Henry, Brookings Bill

Examine congeries inBrookingsLand

And they publish!

Their statist rubbish!

Yeah they whirl and they twirl and they tango

An intellectual fandango

Looks like Brookings love. …

Chatterbox pledged to give special consideration to any entry that included the word “congeries” and the phrase “regression analysis.” He wishes he had not done so because the effort to work them in ruined many a submission. Although Chatterbox asked readers to submit only a single stanza, just about everyone submitted a whole song, and Chatterbox decided to go with the flow.

Here are the winners:

Fifth Runner-Up: Rob Latham

(Sung to “The Yellow Rose of Texas”)

There’s a tank near Dupont Circle


We call it “Brooks”

’Cuz we’ve got books

With regression analyses!

If you need to raise taxes

Or grow yourU.S.state

Our congeries of monographs

Will, your foes, sedate!

Fourth Runner-Up: Matthew Budman

From slums inJakartato schools in the Bronx

Our well-meaning pundits and policy wonks

Offer expertise, hardcovers, studies, and letters

That aim for a world that’s just slightly better

The center must hold!

The center must hold!

We moderate lefties with doct’rates of gold

Who sit next to cronies of Nixon and Ford

We fend off accusals of radical ‘pinion

By ignorant Armeys who rally their minions

The center must hold!

The center must hold!

On Ave.Massachusettswe pray for a time

In which issues of zoning will win hearts and minds

When incomes and races don’t fall into strata

And when scholars have increased the scope of their data!

Gimme a B! Gimme an R! (etc.)

Third Runner-Up: Josh Greenman

O Brookings, careful scholar,

We rally to your cause

Your just-left-of-center leanings

Never do give us pause.

O Brookings, studied wonk,

With rhetoric so dry

Ideas almost bold

and salaries so high.

O Brookings, nerdy fighter

Learned and risk averse

Too coy to show emotion,

Though your op-eds can be terse

O Brookings, sober advocate

Of policies that work

Indulge us in arcana

And never gloat or smirk.

O Brookings, precious intellect

More cultured than fine pearls

Just like a university

Without the pretty girls!

Second Runner-Up: Kim Day

Through congeries of Keynesians

We aid the working poor,

Transcending boundaries’ disciplines

With theories tried and sure.

Objectified perceptuals

Be e’er our stock in trade,

And regression analysis

Cut like a vorpal blade.

O Brookings Institution be

Well-praised throughout the land

And never build your models up

On rationales of sand.

And the winner is …

Kate Wing

Hail to you Old Brookings,

Whose hallowed halls burn bright,

With paradigmatic shiftings,

’Neath compact fluorescent lights!

Our nation’s louche paralysis,

Can but be overcome,

by well-regressed analysis,

from Brooking’s nimble tongues.