Lullaby for a Benevolent Despot (revised)
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Gary McGath
2017-10-27 19:45:46 UTC
In 2005, I wrote "Lullaby for a Benevolent Despot" as a response to the
kind and gentle authoritarianism implied in "Lullaby for a Weary World."
While I think it's a strong song, it's had its problems. I wasn't sure
where to end it. Repeating the chorus would be wrong, but ending it
before that seems to leave it hanging. Some people think it's a funny
song, which wasn't my intent.

I've added a final chorus to it, which I think makes it better. Here's
the revised song:

Lullaby for a Benevolent Despot
Words: Gary McGath, Copyright 2005, 2017
Music: T. J. Burnside Clapp, "Lullaby for a Weary World"

I wonder how my world can live with all her different factions.
Let me rule the world.
And I'm scared of all that people do and how they often come to blows,
And I wish the power to change it all could rest within my hands.

I've seen her people dying for such bold and bloody causes.
Let me rule the world.
For the bodies of the innocent are crushed by hist'ry's turning wheel,
And I want to bring it to a halt before it turns again.

Oh, give me the power to rule my weary world.
Give me a charming voice to soothe those who distrust.
Make my arms strong enough to stop those who resist.
And make me a government so pure and fine
That it will bring this weary world some peace.

I'd like to legislate away each ling'ring cause of hatred.
Let me rule the world.
And although I'd have to break some eggs, that's how you make an omelet,
For when I'd put down all resistance, peace would reign again.

And if her fighting will not stop, I'll send the troops to stop it,
And sing my song of peace above the noise and pain of war.
And if the violence still won't end, I might curtail some freedoms,
But you know I'll give them back. Yes, I swear I'll give them back.

And if my plan should go all wrong, I'll answer in the darkness.
Let me rule the world.
And pray a tender god will grant forgiveness for all that I've done
And grant the world I tried to rescue one more chance to live.
May God please forgive me, for I did it all for love.

Final chorus:
Oh, take back the power to rule my weary world.
Take back the charming voice that soothed those who distrust.
Take back the deadly arms to stop those who resist.
And take back the fantasy so foul and mad
That I could force this weary world to peace.
Gary McGath http://www.mcgath.com
Rich Brown
2017-10-27 21:07:36 UTC
I'll have to dig out my sheet music for Lullaby for a Weary World!
Arthur T.
2017-10-27 23:05:31 UTC
Post by Gary McGath
Some people think it's a funny
song, which wasn't my intent.
It's a strong song, even without your new finale. I hope those
people were just laughing at the irony, especially as shown in the

And, of course, absolute power corrupts absolutely. People need
to be reminded of that occasionally. Thank you.
Arthur T. - ar23hur "at" pobox "dot" com