Sunday, January 19, 2014

"Alger Hiss Was Framed"

So, last night our CALL OF CTHULHU group started a new adventure, with new Keeper, new characters, and new adventure: Steve 'Stan' Brown running MIDNIGHT HARVEST, written by Owen Stephens (a friend from days when we were both at WotC) and published by Super Genius Games. I had fun coming up with a character who's good at investigation but hopeless in combat, an 82-year old folksinger named Willis DunLaoghaire Foster. Essentially he's an old rabble rouser who actually knew Woody Guthrie, Will Geer, and other activist of that bygone era. I usually know more about my characters than ever comes up in the game, and in this case I actually wrote up one of his typical songs, "Alger Hiss Was Framed", which would have been written around 1952. That he'd still be singing it fifty-plus years later says a lot about the character. In any case, thought I'd share.

current reading: THE PAPYRUS OF ANI (as a read-aloud), THE DEAD IN THEIR VAULTED ARCHES (the newest Flavia de Luce novel, just started)
current audiobook: CATCHING FIRE

Alger Hiss Was Framed

Alger Hiss was framed
Alger Hiss was framed
We all know Nixon's dirty game
And Alger Hiss was framed.

We all know Nixon's game
We all know Tricky Dicky's game
They found the goods in a pumpkin patch
When Alger Hiss was framed.

They found microfilm in a pumpkin patch
A pumpkin patch, a pumpkin patch
They found microfilm in a pumpkin patch
Whittaker Chambers' private stash
When Alger Hiss was framed.

Whittaker Chambers' private stash
It wasn't cocaine and it wasn't hash
They planted it there in the pumpkin patch
When they led us up the garden path
The day Alger Hiss was framed.

Nixon's in the White House now
Since Alger Hiss was framed
He rode Eisenhower's coattails
While Alger Hiss they sent to jail
And that's how it goes in the land of the free
For the likes of you and the likes of me
Since Alger Hiss was framed.

—Willis DunLaoghaire Foster  (1926 – ?2008).


jeff said...

don't know if it was meant ironically, but even if it was, I love the song.

John D. Rateliff said...

Hi Jeff

Glad you liked it.

The song is meant to be humorous in expression, but the facts are pretty much straight from the historical record, as I see it.

Too bad I cdn't figure out how to post the tune as well.

If I need any more songs for that character, I'll probably just use some of the ones my father wrote (thought they're more humorous and non-political).