Spirit of the West – Putting Up With The Jones

Spirit of the West composed one of the most popular college drinking songs of all time, particularly on St. Patrick's Day – Home for a Rest

On the sober side their songs reflect a critical eye on the decline of democracy, poverty, homelessness and the sterilization and institutionalization of citizens with disabilities.  They wrote Puttin Up With The Joneses in reaction to visiting an institution in Manitoba.  The song is an ironic reflection on the dehumanizing effects of pity and the hypocrisy of charity.  Here's a U-tube version to read along with the following lyrics.

Puttin' Up With the Joneses

Mr. Jones has a little problem
If I had eyes I'd see that it was me

So lock him up
Throw away the key, boys
Mr. Jones is not like you or me
Lock him up, tight
'Cuz if he had the chance he might
Show us that we're wrong and that's the one thing we can't be
Oh no, oh no

Mr. Jones wanted to be married
It seemed like such a cute thing at the time
Two peas in a pod
Two of a kind
They'd never have to ask each other, "What is on your mind?"

It seemed a simple way to make him happy
And happy's such a simple way to be
And if they kept to themselves like two books upon a shelf
The kind you judge by the cover and never take the time to read

So lock 'em up
Throw away the key, boys
The Joneses, they're not like you or me
Lock 'em up, tight
'Cuz if they had the chance they might
Show us that we're wrong and that's the one thing we can't be
Oh no

Mr. Jones and Mrs. Jones
We're elated to inform you
Though you've failed to meet the standards
We've a place where we'll reform you
It's a ways outside of town
But the distance has its uses
Close enough to make the effort
Far enough to make excuses

Mrs. Jones wants to have a baby
She says that as a woman it's her right
Yes we tried to tell her
I guess that she forgot
When she and Mr. Jones were at the doctor's, tied the knot

Why can't she just be happy in her own world
And we can all be happy here in ours
And we can still help out
Even go as far as to stop off at the Safeway drop some pennies in the jar.


This reflection is part of the series: How People With Disabilities Will Save the World.  I welcome your suggestions or guest contributions.  You can access the whole series by clicking the category: Save the World.

And for desert here's a lively U-Tube version of Home for a Rest to delight your toes.

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