Malvina Reynolds: Song Lyrics and Poems  


Notes: words by Malvina Reynolds and Nancy Schimmel, music traditional; copyright 1963 Schroder Music Company, renewed 1991. You can expand this song to air your pet peeves. Malvina’s daughter Nancy Schimmel wrote the last verse.

Detergent, detergent,
It gets your laundry white,
It backs up in the water pipes,
You drink it day and night,
It makes your kitchen spotless,
It keeps your bathroom clean,
It bubbles from the water tap1
And turns your liver green.

Use X or Y brand gasoline,
It doesn't matter which,
It all comes from the same big tanks,
And makes old Texas rich,
It fills the freeways up with cars,
It fills the air with lead,
If you insist on breathing,
You'll have octane in your head.

They fill the ham with water,
I really don't know why,
It's too darn wet to bake
And it's too darn wet to fry,
But packers point with pride
To a method that they've found,
For selling salty water2
At ninety cents a pound.

Try our insecticides
We know they're sure to please,
They kill the little bees
That pollinate the trees.
Buy our insecticides
On easy payment terms,
You won't have any apples
But they won't have any worms.

Malvina Reynolds songbook(s) in which the music to this song appears:
---- Cheerful Tunes for Lutes and Spoons: Youngish Songs
---- There's Music in the Air: Songs for the Middle-Young

Other place(s) where the music to this song appears:
---- Broadside No. 23 (late March 1963)

Malvina Reynolds recording(s) on which this song is performed:
---- [none]

Recordings by other artists on which this song is performed:
---- Songs That Make Us Think (Classroom Materials Co., 1973)

Additional notes
1. Also as "your water tap" instead of "the water tap."
2. Also as "to sell us salty water for" instead of "for selling salty water at."

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This page copyright 2006 by Charles H. Smith and Nancy Schimmel. All rights reserved.

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