Pete Seeger: 'Newspapermen Meet Such Interesting People'

December 24, 2013

 

Pete Seeger sang this song for Guild members meeting in Buffalo on
Nov. 9. It was written c.1947 by reporter and folk singer Vern Partlow. Find recordings on YouTube
.

Oh, a newspaperman meets such interesting people,
He knows the lowdown (now it can be told);
I’ll tell you quite reliably off the record,
About some charming people I have known.
For I meet politicians and grafters by the score,
Killers plain and fancy, it’s really quite a bore.
Oh, a newspaperman meets such interesting people,
He wallows in corruption, crime and gore.

 

Ting-a-ling-a-ling, city desk!
Hold the press, hold the press;
Ex-tra, Ex-tra! Read all about it!
It’s a mess, meets the test.
Oh, a newspaperman meets such interesting people,
It’s wonderful to represent the press.

 

Now, you remember Mrs. Sadie Smuggery,
She needed money for a new fur coat;
To get insurance, she employed skull-duggery;
She up and cut her husband’s only throat.
She chopped him into fragments, and stuck them in a trunk;
She shipped them to her uncle back yonder in Podunk.
Oh, a newspaperman meets such interesting people;
It must have startled poor old Sadie’s unc.

 

Yes, a newspaperman meets such interesting people;
I’ve met the girl with million dollar knees;
The guy who sat five years upon a steeple
(Just where the point was, I could never see).
I’ve met Capone and Hoover, and lots of other fakes;
I’ve even met a genius who swallows rattlesnakes.
Oh, a newspaperman meets such interesting people;
The richest girl who could not bake a cake.

 

Oh, publishers are such interesting people;
Their policy’s an acrobatic thing.
They shout they represent the common people,
It’s funny Wall Street never has complained.
But publishers have worries, for publishers must go
To working folks for readers, and big shots for their dough;
Oh, publishers are such interesting people;
It could be press-titution, I don’t know.

 

Ting-a-ling-a-ling, advertising.
Ting-a-ling-a-ling, circulation,
Get that payoff, keep those readers;
What a headache, what a mess.
Yes, publishers are such interesting people;
Let’s give three cheers for freedom of the press.

 

Oh, newspapermen are such interesting people;
They used to slave away just for romance,
But, finally, the movies notwithstanding,
They all got tired of patches in their pants.
They organised a union, and got a living wage;
They joined progressive actors upon a living stage.
Now newspapermen meet such interesting people,
Who know they’ve got a people’s fight to wage.

 

Ting-a-ling-a-ling, Newspaper Guild,
We got a free new world to build;
Meet the people, that’s a thrill,
All together, fits the bill.
Oh, a newspaperman meets such interesting people;
It’s wonderful to represent the guild.