Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund


The Double Standard Song - (2009)    

text by the composer

for low or medium voice and piano


Do as I say, not as I do;
Listen up, I'm a-tellin' you,
What I say is fine an' true,
An' rightly right quite thro' and thro'.
Heed my words.

Heed what I say, my words obey,
And notice not nor my deeds weigh
When I cheat or when I stray
From my own sage advice today.
Need my words!

Listen, heed, conform, comply.
Ask no questions such as "why?"
Embrace, observe, abiding by
Such sage advice as offer I.
Need my words!
Heed my words!

All of my words are golden bright,
And my advice is always right;
Measure me not as I recite
The words that I'll ignore tonight.
Heed my... Need my words.

Double standards are my game,
And isn't it a crying shame
That you can't have them, all the same,
For they are mine, and that's my game.
Need my words!

Do as I say, not as I do;
Listen up, I'm a-tellin' you,
What I say is fine an' true,
An' rightly right for all of you'.
Be my herds:

Not as I do....

Do as I say, not as I do.

[ 6 pages, circa 2' 30" ]


A number of newspaper stories of recent months have exposed environmental activists whose own personal profligate behavior is the wanton opposite of the advice they yell from the proverbial roof tops while raising much money for themselves. Similarly, in times of rising unemployment a prominent churchman callously suggested that losing one's employment is an opportunity for growth; while sometimes but not always true, the utter lack of diplomacy from a church father whose home and employment are assured is unfeeling at the minimum. In other stories one hears of politicians vetted for high office only to learn of their profligate behaviors, not paying significant taxes while urging other to do so. One might think of the "human shields" of recent wars who turned out to stand "courageously" against armies which they are sure will not fire on them, all the while no one hears of these same "human shields" actually standing up to real, certifiable tyrants. And then there are the recent "single sheet of toilet paper" Hollywood celebrities.


I toyed with making a dedication for the poem and song setting to one or several of these public figures, but there were simply to many to single out any one as worthy of note, for they all are so very worthy. Double standards abound among our elite, teeming like insects in a swarm, and so this bit of doggerel came to mind.



The music-hall style is used to parody the topic -- those in the public eye so visibly and loudly holding to double standards, one for them and another for us. The light 6/8 is decorated with the "push" rhythm of twentieth century "pop" music, as the vocal line traces the major seventh in thirds as its opening gambit.



The bridge material for this song is also drawn from the same genre, this a simple falling succession of diatonic harmonies, from the subdominant to the tonic as the counterbalance to the verse form's second region of the subdominant. The vocal line rises to exclaim the speaker's need for attention and unquestioning acceptance of his "words" in place, of course, for his actions which are meant to remain unexamined.



The score for The Double Standard Song is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.


The Double Standard Song

for medium voice


The Double Standard Song

for low voice