The fourth Ode Single (1975)

"..Sign on the dotted line..." (everybody sing)...

 

THE

INSURANCE MAN

(Sign on the Dotted Line)

 

WRITER: John Donoghue

RECORDING ARTIST: Timberjack Donoghue

LABEL: Ode Record Company

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The fourth and final Single of the Timberjack Donoghue Overground period, "The Insurance Man" was lifted off the second Timberjack Donoghue album.

An eerie anticipation of the rise of the corporations, this song was inspired by one of my father's frequent diatribes against the evils of unfettered capitalism.

Since then it has kept sprouting more verses, (as folk songs are want to do) but set out below are the original lyrics that appeared on the 1975 recording.

_________________________________ 

"...sign yer life awaaay..."

 

 

 

CREDITS: 

Vocals and Acoustic guitar: John Donoghue.  

Saxophone: Denis Mason.  

Electric Guitar: John O'Connor.  

Keyboards: Bob Smith.  

Bass: Frits Stigter.  

Drums: Tom Swainsen.  

Backing Vocals: The Yandall Sisters. 

Engineer: Phil Yule.  

Producer: Terence O'Neil-Joyce.  

Recorded at EMI Studios, Wellington and Stebbing Studios, Auckland. 

  _____________________________

THE INSURANCE MAN

Words & Music by John Donoghue

LYRICS

Good morning Ma,am I'm the Insurance Man

gonna rip you off for everything I can

just sign on the dotted line

sign your life away.

 

 We live in paradise you know,

'cos a man told me on the radio

but if that's a fact then why do we

all own insurance policies?

does doubt exist in our minds

perhaps then these are troubled times

the insurance man he don't care

just grows fatter year by year

 

Sing sign on the dotted line,

sign, sign the dotted line

sign on the dotted line

sign your life away

 

Paranoia's taking hold

we're even scared of growing old,

money to keep us when we're sick

is in the insurance man's pocket

insure your home, insure your life

insure your mistress and your wife

yes let's insure everything

I will assure you he will sing..

 sign on the dotted line,

sign, sign the dotted line

 sign on the dotted line

 sign your life away

 FOTHE RECORD

Deuteronomy 23:19 -

"Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury:"

____________

My Dad was an old school social democrat and had a real thing about usurers. Those who use money to make money and the culture of greed and avarice that grows with it.

The night he inspired me to write "The Insurance Man," he'd been going on and on about how the practice of usury would inevitably lead our society back into medieval feudalism and was painting a gloomy picture indeed.

At the time it all sounded like dark science fiction, but History has proved that he was right on the button. 

I've never had any problems with the Insurance Man myself, possibly because I've never owned anything worth insuring. But these days I dedicate this song to the long-suffering victims of the Christchurch Earthquake, who, after all this time, are still trying to get the Insurance Man to cough up. 

______________________ 

- FEATURED SINGLE - "The Insurance Man" -

FEATURED SINGLE: "The Insurance Man" was released as a single in late 1975. It was performed live with the Redeye Band on the NZ late-night TV show "Grunt Machine" on 26th November, 1975. (see History/part 2/ Timberjack Donoghue)

 FOOTNOTE

The Insurance Man has proven over time to be my most versatile song ever. With its singalong chorus of "sign on the dotted line," I have been able to usurp and adapt it here and there for all sorts of causes. The most recent of these was at Waitangi 2016, where, with the addition of two new verses it became an anthemic protest against the signing of the TPPA. (My Dad would have been delighted)

The song's adaptability came to the fore very early in its life, even before it was recorded. In late 1974 Bulldogs Allstar Goodtime Band performed an original pantomine at the Wellington Opera House entitled "In search of Goodtime Land." The band was unable to come up with a closing song so I lent them "sign on the Dotted Line," which, with a brand new set of lyrics became "Clap your hands for Goodtime Land."

It's remarkable how the song has stood the test of time and, as long as humans keep signing their names along dotted lines, it looks like it's never going to age. 

 


 

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