Friday, March 26, 2010

The Times They are a Chargin' - The Musical

When my Uncle first found out I was learning guitar my Christmas present that year was a Bob Dylan songbook. It didn't get much use from me before, I think, I swapped it while at University for a couple of tickets for a new up-coming band called Seymour, you may know them better as Blur. However, one of those songs, indeed it is probably the only one I actually learnt how to play, does seem rather appropriate for a little Stephen Glenn alteration today.

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
A click on a Times link
Will soon make you groan
And accept it that soon
You'll be charged to the bone
If your Times to you
Is worth skimmin'
Then you better start spendin'
Online your news fix to own
For the Times they are a-chargin'.

Come writers and critics
Who spread the news with your pen
>Keep keyboards active
And news free from the pain
And don't link from blogs
For the readers won't win
And there's no tellin' who
That it's readin'
The Times loser now
All the others will win
If the Times they go a-chargin'.

Come Guardian, Telegraph
Please heed the call
Don't charge for your content
Don't put up paywalls
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who installed
A charge to look inside
And it is ragin'
And we'll not open windows
For others we'll fall
When the Times they start a-chargin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the world
And don't charge what's free
That's so very absurd
Your sons and your daughters
Are being charged for words
Your old way is
Rapidly agin'
Please get the new way
Where you widen web's world
But the Times they are a-chargin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
Backward step now
Will later be blast
As the present row
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'
The Times of London
Is stuck in the past
So the Times they are a-chargin'.

Music of Bob Dylan, words rearranged by Stephen Glenn (with no assistance from William de Worde*)

* A little mention to the editor of the Anhk-Morpork Times for all my Discworld fan readers. Actually I'd like to see Terry Pratchett's take on this whole situation of the online media overtaking the as yet young and fledgling newspaper industry. A sort of Web 2.0 version of Moving Pictures.

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