Thursday, February 10, 2005

Products from NC

Years ago, a school system in the western part of the state asked my group (the Pratie Heads) to learn this for some programs in their district. I maintain a perverse fondness for the song but never again had an appropriate place to sing it. Now you can enjoy this innocent paean to North Carolina's past glories, which was sent to me by the principal on a xerox I still have and which I render faithfully below.

(To the tune of: If You're Happy and you Know it Clap your Hands)

If you're chewing on a apple that is sweet
If you've eaten all the turkey you can eat
If you eat a sweet potata, and you think there's nothing greata
Than you've just enjoyed some products from our state

If your house is made of brick or made of wood
If your furniture is pretty strong and pretty good
If you have some pottery and a lovely Christmas tree
Then you're enjoying leading products from NC

If you girls are wearing corduroy skirts
If today you boys put on cotton shirts
If your jeans are made of denim, and you're looking so good in 'em
Then you're wearing textile products from NC

If you listened very carefully to our song
You know the list of products from our state is long
Pottery and things that grow, bricks to build and cloth to sew
Isn't North Carolina a great state!

By a school teacher from Greensboro
I was going to snark at this poem for obvious reasons but realized I actually feel tender towards it. It stands more as an elegy now. Sure, we still have sweet potatoes -- I even got a big box of them once as a tip after a gig in Duplin county, home of the Mt. Olive Pickle Company and more pigs than people -- but many of those other things are no longer made in North Carolina. The factories and mills have shut down and the people are out of work.

Of course, the same thing has happened across the country. My brother in Massachusetts trained as a robotics engineer; his first job out of college involved robots for cutting those fancy bottoms on running shoes. Then, running shoes were no longer made in America. He went on to make robots for factory floors and then web-based inventory and shop-layout systems for factories. But now, he says:
The jobs in manufacturing are gone, because nobody in America makes anything any more.
See my recent plaint on a related subject.

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At 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet that kids' recollection of facts would be much higher in school if everything was made into a song like that! ;^)

At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mt Olive Pickle factory still makes things -- which is too bad. it's been the subject of a lot of investigation and a few lawsuits, I think, about how poorly it treats its illegal immigrant Hispanic workers. In Sunday school we were told to boycott its products. Don't know if this is still the case.

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some feel this has been resolved, I guess:

i leave it to your investigation


At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with one of your writers. I was standing in the unemployment line discussing with another unfortunate individual how we don't MAKE anything, we just SELL things!! Is that PROGRESS OR DECLINE???


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