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A songwriter's ode to Congress: 'Bail Me Out'

October 7, 2008 |  7:19 pm

From Times staff writer William Heisel:

Hard financial times have always led to great music. Muddy Waters. Johnny Cash. James Brown. All of them sang about the struggle to put food on the table.

So it's no surprise that musicians today are responding to the credit crunch, and the federal government's attempt to solve it, in song.

Jim Becker, a 47-year-old Whittier songwriter who says he moved to Los Angeles in 1984 with $800 in his pocket hoping to make it big, echoes what a lot of Americans were saying as they watched Congress debate the $700-billion financial system rescue package.

Currently unemployed, with three daughters, Becker says he watched the debate and thought, "Why isn't there a bailout for guys like me?"

So he wrote "Bail Me Out" and posted it on his Myspace page last week.

He starts the song by saying, "Here's your income verification," a nod to lax loan requirements that helped lead the country into the current mess. Then he ticks off his troubles.

His first verse:

I can't afford to buy a house
I can't afford to buy a house
I make 55 thousand dollars a year
and I can't afford to buy a house

I got no savings account
I got no savings account
I spent it on health insurance and gasoline
Now I got no savings account

Bail me out
Won't you bail me out
Won't you bail me out
Throw a drowning man a line