Montana has a long tradition of listening to and respecting — revering — its writers and the state’s literary tradition. In an unprecedented show of unity, more than forty of Montana’s best writers have gathered, in rapid response fashion, to write original essays and testimonials advocating for the protection of our public lands, and endorsing Democratic House of Representatives candidate Rob Quist’s position on this (literally) most common ground of issues. Please vote on May 25.


Tom Murphy.jpg

P-u-b-l-i-c L-a-n-d-s

Greg Keeler

I found a way to make big bucks,
If you promise not to tell,
From a public that must be
so damned dumb they can't spell.
So just in case they overhear,
I'll spell out what works best.
Yes, I'll tell you the s-e-c-r-e-t
Of my success.

Chorus:
P-u-b-l-i-c
L-a-n-d-s,
M-i-l-k them for all
They're worth and screw the rest.
Just find you some connections for
An l-e-a-s-e,
And if you play your cards right, it's
Damned near f-r-e-e.

Yes, the m-i-n-i-n-g
I-n-d-u-s-t-r-y
Wants o-p-e-n p-i-t-s under that big sky.
Never mind the water
Hold your nose and open wide
For a heavy metal toxic cocktail
Laced with cyanide.

Chorus

The F-o-r-e-s-t
S-e-r-v-i-c-e
Wants to sell off grizzly
H-a-b-i-t-a-t.|
So get your c-h-a-i-n-
S-a-w-s.
What the hell, it's easy bucks,
And Smokey, he knows best.

Chorus

Watch out for e-n-v-i-r-
O-n-m-e-n
T-a-l-i-s-t-s.
They'll try to stop you when
They see you coming with your saws,
your dozers, and your trucks.
But in the West, them wimps is s-
H-i-t out of luck.

Chorus (then Mickey Mouse Club theme ending)

P-u-b, be a long time 'fore you can drink this.
L-i-c, see where they took off the top of that mountain?
L-a-n-d-s.

Greg Keeler is a poet, songwriter, and flyfisherman.