Every Sunday night during the summer, there is an open air folk concert near where I live. I get to varying numbers of them through the season, but one performer I never miss is Tom Chapin.
Younger brother of Harry (dead 26 years this summer, if you can believe it), Tom is wonderful. He sings with Michael Mark (on bass and concertina) and Jon Cobert (on keyboard) and always has fun doing a mix of old and new, children's favorites and biting satire (which is what folk music is best at), original tunes and Harry's songs. It's always a great evening, and last night was no exception.
He sang one new song that was so spot on, I had to share: (It's not on any of his CDs yet, so he's got it on his website, downloadable for free)
The test is tomorrow but you'll do just fine.
It's reading and math. Forget all the rest.
You don't need to know what is not on the test.
Each box that you mark on each test that you take,
Remember your teachers. Their jobs are at stake.
Your score is their score, but don't get all stressed.
They'd never teach anything not on the test.
The School Board is faced with No Child Left Behind,
With rules but no funding, they're caught in a bind.
So music and art and the things you love best
Are not in your school 'cause they're not on the test.
Sleep, sleep, and as you progress
You'll learn there's a lot that is not on the test.
Debate is a skill that is useful to know,
Unless you're in Congress or talk radio,
Where shouting and spouting and spewing are blessed
'Cause rational discourse was not on the test.
Thinking's important. It's good to know how.
And someday you'll learn to, but someday's not now.
Go on to sleep, now. You need your rest.
Don't think about thinking. It's not on the test.