Rhymin' Man

Notes and Comments

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They say when Doctor King got shot,
Jesse hatched an evil plot,
Dipped his hands in the Doctor's blood,
'N rubbed his shirt like playin' with mud
Looked around for all the press
'N said: "Check me out, my name is Jess!
I'll be known from towns 'n farms --
Doctor King died in my arms!"
From: "Michael Zielesny" <>
  PLAYBOY: You've also used your songs to level political attacks. You wrote Rhymin' Man about Jesse Jackson. What made you so angry?
  ZAPPA: An article raised some questions about whether or not Martin Luther King actuallyy died in Jesse's arms. There were reports that Jackson dipped his hands into King's blood or even used chicken blood and rubbed it on his shirt, which we wore for a few days afterward as he met the media. So I did this song about the idea of communicating through nursery rhymes, as Jackson is prone to do. It rubs me the wrong way. I'm not saying that all of Jesse's ideas are bad; I agree with some of them. But I'm not confident that Jesse Jackson would be the person I would look to to implement any of them. I don't want to see any religious people in public office because they're working for another boss.
From: (Johannes Labisch)
  I have an interview from 88 (SFB, Radiostation in Berlin).
  (This is quoted from memory..)
  Q: Do you think Jesse Jackson is the right man for president?
  FZ: No, I don't thin Jesse Jackson is the right man. I thin Mario Quomo is the right man.
  Q: Who is Muriel Como?
  FZ: Quomo.
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A few years later, legend says,
Rhymin' man made a run for Prez
Farrakhan made him a clown,
From: (Cliff Heller)
  Louis Farrakhan is a very popular (infamous) preacher within the Nation of Islam, a modern Islamic Extremist organization of American black. Farrakhan is well known for his public racism and anti-semitism. He has a fairly large following, but he is very divisive. A black running for public office in anything other than an all-black community is committing political suicide by associating himself with Farrakhan in any way.
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Over there near Hymie-Town
From: (Kerry Yackoboski)
  Jesse once referred to New York City as Hymie-Town. This is a slur on Jewish people.
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Said he was a diplomat --
Hobbin' an-a-knobbin' with Arafat
From: Charles Ulrich <>
  The actual verb is "hobnob", meaning "to associate on very friendly terms". Normally, one would say "Hobnobbing with Arafat", but of course that doesn't scan.
From: (Kerry Yackoboski)
  It's a Zappafied way of saying "hobnobbing", as in "with the Goblin Girl".
Any fool can make a rhyme --
Cowboys do it all the time
From: Evil Bob <>
  On the surface this refers to Country & Western music. This also refers to the rise at the time of a certain number of homespun "Cowboy Poets" who have by now apparently used up all of their 15 minutes of fame since we don't hear about them anymore. These guys used to appear from time to time on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (and other talk shows) dressed in standard ridiculous cowboy attire and read from their collections of homespun, highly jingoistic doggerel poetry usually touching on mildly humorous subjects and making vague statements about the wide-open vistas of American Opportunity and shit like that.
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Horse manure!
That's for sure!
You been cheatin' --

We kept score!
Are you "this"?
Or are you "that"?
Oh, you naughty
From: Bartosz Blacha <bart+@CMU.EDU>
  I remember seeing a quote of FZ going something like, "Republicans are the worst of what's possible... and Democrats is just a bunch of guys trying very hard to be Republicans." Well, that makes sense: both parties are just trying to make us into a nation of check-mailing braindead slaves, only Republicans are less willing to admit it...
From: (Stan Ivester)
  He wasn't too keen on Lyndon Johnson, thanks to LBJ's involvement in U.S. atrocities in Vietnam. I don't remember his saying much about Carter. He ended up endorsing Clinton fairly late in the 1992 campaign. He said something like Bush and Quayle were such monstrosities that he'd endorse Clinton and Gore despite his disagreements with Tipper--or at least that's the way it was reported in the media.
  BTW, I read in at least one interview that he was briefly excited by the Perot candicacy in 1992 but was disillusioned pretty quickly once he figured out that Ross wasn't playing with a full deck.
From: (Rob Sweet)
  For a good look at BOTH parties via Zappa, check out "Hot Plate Heaven At The Green Hotel"
  And don't forget how Frank "skewered" the Gores during the Porn Wars. They made up though. He and Tipper were actually on very good terms before Zappa's departure. Before the election, he said he would much rather have the Clinton/Gore team elected, than to have four more years of "those cowboys" (Reagan/Bush/Quayle, etc.).
From: (Joe Newman)
  Could you provide some evidence for this? What constitutes "very good terms"? The last comment I saw from Zappa on the buoffant-encrusted turd from Tennessee was on the Today show interview around Summer '93. After conceding that he had received a nice letter from the Gores when his condition became public, he went on to sneer at the notion of Tipper in a rock group. He hardly seemed to be in the mood for a love-fest.
  ... reaching the conclusion that two lying sacks of shit are preferable to two lying, fascist sacks of shit hardly seems like a ringing endorsement. You make it sound like Zappa wanted to hang out and party with these assholes.
From: (Rob Sweet)
  "Very good terms" may seem like an over - exaggeration, but considering the terms they HAD been on (during the Porn Wars), I can feel justified in saying they were on "much better terms".

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