Mad Song

Mad Song
Dear terrifying terrorists
  Who tear our liberty,
    The ship of state
    Secures the gate.
  Do you have ID?
Freedom is biometric.
  Americans stand tall
    With iris tints
    And fingerprints
  And DNA for all.

Cameras, cameras everywhere
  Nor any thought to think.
    It makes a fella
    Smooth an’ mella.
  Hick! Anotha drink!
I know more than her mother
  About my darling Kimmy.
    With infrared
    I see her bed
  And the winsome Kimmy shimmy.

We map the social network
  To find the central spider.
    If you call Iran
    Or Afghanistan,
  We call you an insider.
No keyword goes unnoticed.
  You used the words “expire”
    And “magazine”.
    What does it mean?
  When do you open fire?

Our database is Biblical:
  Sinners change to pillars
    Of rectitude.
    We must conclude
  The saintly are the killers. (That’s not us, is it?)
We collate your drivers license
  With your tax return.
    Wait here, please,
  And burn, burn, burn.

We follow procedure carefully.
  We’re honest, never fear.
    Secret warrants
    Flow in torrents—
  Shh! You didn’t hear!
If you make us mad, we’ll show you
  The picture of perdition.
    A furtive flight
    Will draw by night
  An extraordinary rendition.

From a list of fancied furies
  Invented by committees,
    With random rules
    The ship of fools
  Defends our tender cities
As gallantly as Procrustes
  And as stupidly as is clever.
    You’re in a cell
    Or off to hell
  Or safe and sound forever. (Some exceptions may apply.)
27 August 2007
With references to the great anonymous Tom O’ Bedlam’s Song, circa 1600, which I think of as the prototype of mad songs.