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Dirty Water,’ although my wife, who has written about the Charles River cleanup, will remind us that the title is now out-of-date.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.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.


  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group