The IR(N) Report Song

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Deborah & Andre at Paddy's Goodbye Party

Deborah & Andre at Paddy’s Farewell

Leadership consultant, non-profit governance guru, artiste and evil genius Andre Carothers, just sent me this old song of his he found while doing an end-of-year dunging out of his hard drive. Andre performed this song at an International Rivers Network fundraising dinner in San Francisco in 2002. We were so ashamed that we decided (after five years’ deliberation) to change our name. We also stopped talking to Andre until recently when he took advantage of our Blagojevich fundraising scam and bought himself the seat of vice chair on our board (note to IRS and FBI – that was a joke).


ps – Another example of Andre’s art is the classic Subriverine Namesick Blues. He wrote and performed the music. River of Words = poetry and art project for kids, once a project of IRN, now a project of St Mary’s College of California. Juliette Majot = Paddy’s predecessor as IRN Executive Director

The IRN Report Song
by Andre Carothers

We wrote a report today, although we don’t have much to say,
You see we’re IRN, and we’re pretty good with a pen,
Each report is the same; we just change the river’s name
We aim to drown you, my friends, in our River of Words.

For us nothing is more gripping, than a lengthy news clipping,
If you’ve got the patience and nerve, by all means sign up for our list-serv
And if you looking to get some sleep, we got something that can’t be beat:
It is called the report on the environmental impact assessment of the technical review of the Mekong River mainstream run of river hydropower project.

Although we admit we write rather dully, thanks in part to Patrick McCully,
There are ten pages in his book, on every river stream and brook,
If you buy a copy before you go home, you’ll double sales of his gripping tome
See how long you can tread water, in his River of Words.

We wrote a press release today, like we did last Monday,
You see we’re IRN, and we’re pretty attached to our pen,
Each report is the same; we just change the country’s name
You’re going to need a lifejacket in our River of Words

We’re emailing our list today, to announce that we’ve got something to say,
It’s about an endangered river, or wait, maybe it was a bay,
Our in-depth report comes next, it’s only 10,000 pages of text,
Don’t forget, we’re the headwaters, of a River of Words.

When words fail us, you’d never know it, we just trot out a famous poet
If you need a touch of class, we’re good friends with Robert Hass,
In the mood for something lighter? By all means, here’s Gary Snyder,
We’re like the good ship lollypop, on the River of Words.

Please don’t go away, we’ve got lots more to say,
You see we’re IRN, and lord knows we can wield a pen.,
Each report is the same, we’re quite creative with new names,
Hold your nose, you’re going under in our River of  Words.

Our reports, it must be said, are not that widely read,
You see the newsroom has to be real slow, before they will call Juliette Majot,
But if we run out of things to do, we’re gonna recruit Maya Angelou,
We can float for another decade, on her River of  Words.

May 2002