Rocks Off's local watering hole is frequented by a lawyer named Eugene Lawley, whom we always refer to as our Walker Percy
. Lawley has more than a small literary bent - we hardly ever mention a book he hasn't read - and has a fine ear for song lyrics. His sister wrote themes for television and movies. I recently suggested that he put together a list of lawyer songs.
According to Lawley, who works in the title/leases/land end of the oil and gas business, "There aren't many songs actually about lawyers, but there are countless songs about the issues lawyers deal with every day. After all, at any given moment, your average day-to-day lawyer may be dealing with an estate, a divorce, immigration, a criminal matter the court has crammed down his throat, or perhaps something really ugly like civil rights violations, police corruption, or police brutality.
"So things range from the dearly personal to profound systemic abominations. Then you've got lawyers like me that had to quit because we are so idealistic we cannot utter the word "no."
Remote Pleas for Help
"Lawyers, Guns & Money," Warren Zevon:
"The Holy Trinity; the ultimate cure for anything that ails you."
"Hurricane," Bob Dylan:
"Poetic, symphonic, it reads like a movie script and more true than anyone in law enforcement will admit. Makes me want to break out the blowtorch and burn the jailhouse down."
Harper Valley P.T.A., Tom T. Hall (performed by Jeannie C. Riley):
"This is Real Life in Real Time America."
When Rita Leaves." Delbert McClinton; "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," Jimmy Webb:
"Two really perfect songs - both simple, yet both nail it."
"D.I.V.O.R.C.E.," Bobby Braddock & Curly Putman (Performed by Tammy Wynette):
"Makes my iPod want to cry; songs like this are why we keep several boxes of Kleenex on the desk."
"I Fought the Law," Bobby Fuller Four:
"There are some great covers of this, but none like the original. I had a young kid like this once and he just could not stop breaking the law!"
Criminal (Domestic Abuse)
"The Thunder Rolls," Garth Brooks:
"I'm not much of a fan, but this is one of his best. I'd get the gal off 'cause she shoulda shot the bastard."
"Lawyers In Love," Jackson Browne:
"Good sounding song but I'm not sure it has a darned thing to do with lawyers. It is, however, good social commentary."