ALL AMERICAN HISTORY BUFFSCOLLECT AMERICAN HISTORY NOW
On April 25, 2002, The National Museum of American History
at the Smithsonian added our 1998 cassingle, Intern Girl,
to its permanent collectionthe first original song in American
history to center on the reasons for the impeachment and trial
of an American presidentWilliam Jefferson Clinton. Issued
in October 1998, this jazz song is in the tradition of composer
Henry Clay Work, whose classic, "Who Shall Rule This American
Nation?" (1866) was inspired by events that led up to
President Andrew Johnson's impeachment and trial. (Work also
wrote "Grandfather's Clock.") America's political music
has a rich history, to which the Clinton impeachment added additional
songs plus a musical.
American political music includes such influential songs as "God
Save George Washington" (1780s), "Tippecanoe and Tyler
too" (1840), and "We Shall Overcome" (1960s). When
Andrew Johnson was tried for impeachment in 1868, three
musical pieces preceded the event: "Who Shall Rule This American
Nation?" noted above, "Andy Veto" (1866), and "
"The Veto Galop!" (1867). None of these songs centered
on the impeachment and trial's causeJohnson's attempt to
remove the Secretary of War. The three Johnson-inspired musical
pieces arose out of conflicting views of reconstruction policy.
A spectacular 1992 CD features "Who Shall Rule This American
Nation?" and "The Veto Galop!" in Tippiecanoe
and Tyler Too, A Collection of American Political Marches, Songs
and Dirges, by The Chestnut Brass Company and Friends (Newport
Classics). Richard M. Nixon, who was impeached by the House
Judiciary Committee (a technical impeachment because it did not
proceed to trial), inspired the song "Watergate Blues"
by Tom T. Hall and a comedy record The Nixorcist featuring
an impersonation of Sam Ervin's take on Watergate.
Intern Girl was recorded at Robert Berry's Soundtek Studios
in Campbell, California, and manufactured by Tiki Recording Studios-O'Neal
Productions, in San Jose. It was overseen there by Ron Akin.
The song was written before the discovery of such tragedies as
Clinton's encounters with Kathleen Willey and Juanita
Broaddrick. Willey tells of sexual harrassment by Clinton
in the wake of her attorney husband's suicide. The Broaddrick
story was told 21 years after it occurred, to Lisa Myers,
on Dateline NBC. Clinton was Arkansas's Attorney General
at that time. Broaddrick stated to Myers that Clinton
had raped her. Clinton did not deny the sex, but the assault.
Intern Girl is a sparkling song written in September 1998.
Its spirit captured the dynamism of Monica Lewinsky and William
J. Clinton which had unfolded before the writer's eye like a bright
banner. The lyrics revealed the alliance's hopelessness and basic
The original cassingle art, which McDowell ordered, took note
of the sadness of the girl's situation. Falling in love with a
star does not make one a star. The powerful older man and inexperienced-young-woman
dynamic was obvious. Exploitation like this hurts. When it becomes
a scandal that spreads over the world, it hurts far more.
Most important media people did not take Lewinsky's side. She
was framed by them as a temptress luring a virtuous American president
from the path of righteousness. This was a retelling of the Adam
and Eve story as set down in Judeo-Christian tradition. These
traditions have cast women in the role of scapegoats down the
centuries. They have done women great harm here and this must
change. The title of a British series, Eve Was Framed,
is a protest and rightly so.
Why did feminists obligated to come to this Eve's defense not
do so? Why did Jewish journalists fail to defend her in such an
obvious case of exploitation plus covert anti-Semitism?
But a remarkable Gallup Poll finding, gathered on December
28-29, 1998, shows another side of this complicated story. Much
empathy existed in American society for both Hillary Clinton
and Monica Lewinsky. In this poll Americans were asked
"What woman have you heard or read about living today in
any part of the world, do you admire most?"
Monica Lewinsky was placed at number ten and Hillary
Clinton at number one. People had a clear-eyed understanding
of social hypocrisy and power disparity. They were compassionate.
They identified. In America, the ideal is a single standard for
both sexes in sexual matters. The actual practice is a double
The American people knew powerful men prey on inexperienced women.
They understood Lewinsky was a minnow, not a mighty temptress.
They understood Hillary Clinton was totally committed to her long-term
marriage. This Gallup Poll finding is not only unusual.
It is a dramatic example of empathy and social intelligence. It
is fortunate this Poll was taken at that time. It counters
the impression that Lewinsky received widespread public condemnation.
She did not.
The art work Dr. McDowell ordered for Intern Girl is interesting
because it is prophetic. Artists, such as George Orwell, have
revealed the future.
Occupied with research at the time of writing the song, Dr. McDowell
knew only a few facts of the affair. At first she had assumed
this was another Packwood-type case, i.e., that Clinton had charmed
a reluctant Lewinsky. (In the Packwood cases the women were not
charmed.) Clinton's charm was well known. Dr. McDowell did not
know Lewinsky had pursued Clinton, like a rock-star fan, at the
time of writing the song.
When Dr. McDowell saw photos of the two people, she concluded
this was like the Louis the Fourteenth-Louise de la Vallière
affaira love match in which patriarchal institutions
dictated the terms. The outcome would end badly for the woman.
We must build a new conscience towards women on issues like this
since age and experience do matter. Whales must not swallow
minnows, whoever they are. William Blake's observation, "One
law for the lion and the ox is oppression," is apropos here.
Women are an oppressed group in America as they are in most countries
of the world. Women do not have the same options men do. Power
disparities influence many, though not all.
Clinton is an enigmatic person. Like the hero of Oedipus Rex,
he did much good. He also had glaring flaws that were his undoing.
What unconscious factors dictated his conduct? Was he, like Oedipus,
driven to do what he did by factors outside his awareness? These
great questions will inspire many books and films.
Intern Girl was sung by Kirsten Clover, who now sings
for Opera San Jose. Her back-up vocalist, Earl Lord, is a church
music director. Their names are pen names. The song entered a
world alive with covert anti-Semitism, misogyny, sexual Puritanism
and gender discrimination. All these were pulled from the unenlightened
past and put to use. Judgments will be rendered on these forces
as time goes on. Lewinsky herself remarked that the American people
did not elect a priest.
The ensuing media circus tested objectivity and moral character.
Fair reporting was not the rule. But there were notable exceptions
such as Oprah Winfrey and Dateline NBC. These blind spots
in American talk shows, journalism, and feminism will become themes
in works of high drama. They will occupy historians and scholars
in many other fields such as women's studies, psychology, journalism
and law, for years to come.
Bill Clinton, like Thomas Jefferson, will be one of the most
written-about presidents in American history. The myth of the
Mighty Woman Temptress will be dispensed with in evaluating the
events because the Minnow Versus the Whale analogy is obvious.
The December 1998 Gallup Poll cannot be overlooked.
Intern Girl is a cassingle in its original wrapping, and is a limited edition made in September 1998. The price is $199.00. California tax is 8.25%.
Poster size 11"x 17".
You've Read Monica's Story, Now Hear Monica's Song.
They've done it again! That's right, the teams of Rodgers & Hart, and Jagger & Richards are just gonna have to step aside for that duo of McDowell & Loventhal. Their latest collaboration, "Intern Girl," is a penetrating look at the "trial of the century." It is the first song in American history to examine the causes of the impeachment and trial of an American president. America has a long history of tuneful political commentary and "Intern Girl" fits right in. It tells the story from Monica's point of view. So if it's political satire with a beat that gets you up on the good foot, you'll want to own "Intern Girl." Lord knows we need all the smiles we can get. - Randall W. Anderson, Music Specialist, Stacks 'n Facts, San Jose State University Library.
"Funny stuff." - Mr. KABC.
"Very funny, well-produced, and fine for radio." - Jim Murphy, Music Director, KEZR and KLUE
"Very good, very funny, I want to feature it.' - Peter Jon Shuler, South Bay Bureau, Chief of KQED radio
"I like it!" - Kim Vestal, KARA
-back to top-
Three impeachments: President Andrew Johnson,
President Richard M. Nixon and President William J. Clinton.
Kathleen Willey's story was on Sixty Minutes.
Juanita Broaddrick's story was on Dateline NBC.
Are housewives stars too?
Women were scapegoated in the Adam and Eve story,
and Monica Lewinsky was cast in the role of temptress, just as
Eve was framed!
The American people voted for Monica, the spunky
intern, in a Gallup Poll taken on December 28-29, 1998.
The American people saw Lewinsky was a minnow,
not a mighty temptress.
The art work for the 1998 Intern Girl was prophetic.
A comparison between Bill Clinton and Louis the
Should rock stars take advantage of young fans?
Should whales swallow minnows?
Is Bill Clinton like Oedipus Rex?
How much covert anti-Semitism was hidden in the
media circus the Bill-Monica scandal brought out?
Bill Clinton will be one of the most written-about
presidents in American history.
The blind spots in American journalism on this
scandal will be discussed for years to come.
Humanity has agreed to end racism, thanks
to the valiant efforts of many. Now it must agree to end misogyny
and anti-Semitism. These are some of today's biggest goals.
In SHE's musical revue section, Four Young
Women of Valor, a black Muslim woman attorney defends Monica Lewinsky,
Anita Hill, Patty Hearst and Joan of Arc against gender discrimination,
as well as other forms of discrimination.
All forms of prejudice must fall.
To say WOMEN MATTER today is to help solve the painful problems
Marjane Satrapi has set forth with such compassion in Persepolis.
Satrapi's tragic book is a clear reminder that people in all conditions
of life must be treated with respect, love and insight.
Without love, insight, and equality, humanity