It’s true, there is a song about public relations. Needless to say the lyrics are not flattering; however, they are consistent with the dominant view of the public relations field (i.e. publicists). I was introduced to the lyrics of this song a few years ago, but never thought much of it till today. Turns out this song was actually written to coincide with the book Don’t Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk. As per the Amazon book description, “…It’s the story of Norman Paperman, a New York City press agent who, facing the onset of middle age, runs away to a Caribbean island to reinvent himself as a hotel keeper” (para. 2). The novel was originally published in 1965, and then republished in 1992.
According to Herman Wouk biography page “Don’t Stop the Carnival, published in 1965, is an extravaganza of life on a Caribbean island, which tells some grim truths of politics and race under the surface of fun. A few years ago the novel took on another form when Wouk wrote the libretto of a musical version in collaboration with Jimmy Buffett, the show’s composer and lyricist. Don’t Stop the Carnival had its premiere at the Coconut Grove Theatre in Miami, where enthusiastic audiences caused the original run to be extended by several months” (para. 9). Buffett bought the rights to Don’t Stop the Carnival in 1996.
Amazon reviewers say you won’t understand the song till you read the book. Guess I’ll have to put this book on my “to-read” list for the summer. Maybe then I’ll have a better outlook on the lyrics of this song…maybe.
Listen to the lyrics and tell me what you think?