Name that tune

Name that tune
Federal Computer Week columnist and blogger Steve Kelman tapped into people’s musical sensibilities recently when he asked them to come up with songs that describe the current government procurement environment. He got an earful in response.

From Kelman’s blog: Hillary Clinton has been soliciting suggestions for a title song for her presidential campaign on the Internet. According to the New York Times, suggestions have ranged from the Monkees’ ‘I’m a Believer’ to ‘Cold as Ice’ by Foreigner.

This got me thinking about a similar exercise for the procurement community.
As with Clinton, some title choices will depend on one’s views of the person. Supporters of Lurita Doan might assign her Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect,’ while critics might prefer Santana’s ‘(You’ve Got to Change) Your Evil Ways’ or even the Eagles’ ‘Lyin’ Eyes.’

Other choices are more straightforward. Henry Waxman’s hearing room could be dubbed ‘Hotel California,’ also by the Eagles. Tom Davis’ song might be ‘We Can Work It Out’ by the Beatles. Reflecting his passion for metrics and agencies’ views of the Office of Management and Budget, I would suggest for Clay Johnson ‘96 Tears’ by Question Mark and the Mysterians. And, of course, Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight should get Elvis Presley’s classic ‘Suspicious Minds.’

There’s an obvious hit for GSA — ‘Call Me’ by Blondie, with its memorable refrain, recently appropriated for a telephone commercial: ‘Call me, call me any anytime.’

Asked to choose a song for myself, I would of course select the Standells’ paean to Boston, ‘(Love that) Dirty Water,’ although my wife, who has written about the Charles River cleanup, will remind us that the title is now out-of-date.

However, others might make a different selection. POGO would probably choose the brilliant lyrics and pulsing beat of the Who song about a failed revolution, ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again.’

Readers sent Kelman many suggestions, including the following:
  • Given how Doan, administrator of the General Services Administration, is getting carved up, one reader nominated “Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin, which includes the line “Take another little piece of my heart now, baby!”
  • Doan’s song for 2007 — “Cruel Summer” by Ace of Base.
  • To express Doan’s feelings toward the Office of Special Council’s Scott Bloch and Rep. Waxman (D-Calif.) — “Cold, Cold Heart” by Hank Williams.
  • Doan’s response to Waxman’s second summons to testify — “Here We Go Again.” For Doan’s testimony to OSC — the Bee Gees’ “Jive Talkin’.” OSC’s hopes for Doan — “You Get What You Give,” the theme song for the movie “Homeward Bound II.”
  • For Doan in general — “I’m Here for the (Republican) Party” by Gretchen Wilson and “Make the World Go Away” by Eddy Arnold.
  • For the Defense Department’s contracting shop in Iraq — “Help!” by the Beatles.
  • For the Federal Emergency Management Agency — “American Pie” by Don McLean, with the lyrics changed to read, “Drove my Chevy to the levee and the levee was gone!”
  • For the Interior Department’s GovWorks Federal Acquisition Center — “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” by AC/DC.
  • For GovWorks and the fee-for-service crowd — “I Fought the (Federal Appropriations) Law” by the Bobby Fuller Four.
  • For the leaders of GovWorks — “Your Cheatin’ Heart” by Hank Williams and whatever tune the Fat Lady is singing these days.
  • For career contracting specialists — “Take this Job and Shove It” by Johnny Paycheck and “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” by the Animals.

Click here to enlarge chart(.pdf).


About the Author

Connect with the FCW staff on Twitter @FCWnow.


  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.