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March 3, 2002

The OAS and the Silvery Tay Stop the presses: William McGonagal is alive and working for the Organization of American States.

For who else but the author of these immortal lines—

Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.
—could have written this “Chant to the OAS”, found in the children’s section of the official OAS web page? (You say it never occurred to you that the Organization of American States’ web page would have a children’s section? O ye of little faith.)
The OAS, the OAS
Is a success, I must confess!
It helps us all achieve our dreams
Because it supports important themes
Its main concern is democracy
So all our citizens can live strong and free
It always fights for human rights
And its work for peace has reached important heights
What a sensation are its programs on education
Not to mention its assistance to electoral observation
Preserving the environment has always been a priority
And endless programs are advanced to eliminate poverty
Trade is important to increase prosperity

And the promotion of culture, art and science is necessary for posterity
The fight against drugs is a serious matter
While arms control, security and terrorism are as important as the latter
Protecting women and children is a must
And our labor initiatives will never rust
We are constantly praised for our defense of indigenous populations
In the same manner that we support telecommunications […]

In the words of Samuel Beckett, I can’t go on, I’ll go on. [05:15 PM]
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Comments on The OAS and the Silvery Tay:

Alison Scott ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2002, 07:26 PM:

I know this is a late comment. I have just recited the entire thing to Steven; I am in tears of laughter. I broke down when I got to "Protecting women and children is a must and our labor initiatives will never rust", and had to stop to recombobulate myself. aaFurther perusal of the website clarifies matters; this poem has been translated from the Spanish, presumably by someone who is not a native English speaker. Not that it looks terribly much better in Spanish, but at least all the lines are roughly the same length.