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Genteel Poverty, song lyrics

Song: Genteel Poverty
Lyrics: John David Lamb(2)

Music: John David Lamb
Year: 1964
Genre:
Country: USA


Granddaddy was a teacher and Daddy was one too;
We lived on tuna casserole and ate potato stew.
Our shoes and socks were full of holes,
There were patches on our knees,
But teachers teach for love they say,
And everyone agrees.

(CHORUS:)
Genteel poverty, that is the life for me,
Money's but an insult and a snare,
If you want to be a scholar, Just forget about the dollar,
But I'm just too damned professional to care! (about dollars)
This song was originally posted on protestsonglyrics.net
Now I've become a teacher and joined the NEA(3);
I'd never dream of striking for a little raise in pay.
I'll always trust the school board, they will look after me,
And I will take a second job, to feed my family.

(CHORUS:)
Genteel poverty, that is the life for me,
Money's but an insult and a snare,
If you want to be a scholar, Just forget about the dollar,
But I'm just too damned professional to care! (about my family)

Just look at union workers, they wear their collars blue.
Although they make more money than us classroom teachers do;
But think how you're respected for wearing collars white,
And you'll enjoy your tuna casserole again tonight.

(CHORUS:)
Genteel poverty, that is the life for me,
Money's but an insult and a snare,
I don't care if I'm neglected, Just as long as I'm respected,
And I'm just too damned professional to care! (about what I eat)
This song was originally posted on protestsonglyrics.net
The NEA will welcome any teacher who is white,
Integration cannot be accomplished overnight;
They let the colored people form chapters of their own,
"Separate but Equal" is the doctrine they condone.

(CHORUS:)
Genteel poverty, that is the life for me,
Money's but an insult and a snare,
We are filled with indignation, At the thought of segration,
But we're just too damned professional to care! (about civil rights)

The NEA is careful to keep its image bright,
A controversial teacher is regarded as a blight,
So even though you've paid your dues and think you're not alone,
If you get into trouble, you are strictly on your own.

(CHORUS:)
Genteel poverty, that is the life for me,
Money's but an insult and a snare,
Don't forget our reputation, To uphold the administration,
But we're just too damned professional to care! (about academic freedom)

So join the NEA, boys, like the bosses tell you to,
And never stop to ask them what they plan to do for you;
But if you get in trouble, just take a timp from me,
And you will take your grievance to the good old AFT(4)!

(CHORUS:)
Genteel poverty, that is the life for me,
Money's but an insult and a snare,
They can starve us and mistreat us, Even lie to us and cheat us,
But we're just too damned professional to care! (Period!)


Notes:

1 - "Fraternally dedicated to the Seattle Federtion of Teachers, AFT Local 200 (AFL-CIO)

2 - We have been trying to confirm which John David Lamb this is to contact him, but have not been able to verify if he might be the classical composer and retired music teacher from Seattle Washington.

3 - NEA is the National Education Association of the United States.

4 - AFT is the American Federation of Teachers.