Okkervil River – The President’s Dead


"The President’s dead," the radio said. Dear friends, is it not so horrible? A shock through my heart like a knife right through bread. The newspaper said "The President’s dead." The sea doesn’t dry and the sky isn’t split, but, friends, it just seems so wrong, doesn’t it? A shout from the crowd and a shot in the head; the President’s lying on the tarmac dead. He’s lying face down, with those black-dressed agents, guns drawn, running around. And the early obits say he was a good man – you can’t argue with that. Not today you can’t. Not now you can’t. In the media tent where they spin and they slant, they just foam at the mouth and they champ at the bit. Those bloodsuckers can wait. Tell those vultures to cool it. The newscaster said "The President’s dead." Let’s imagine the way, let’s say thirty years in, how somebody will say, "What were you doing when?" On a beautiful day I was waking up, and I was lying in bed with my girlfriend. And the eggs on the plate, and the bacon hissing, and the coffee was great, and there was spring in the wind. Have you ever lived through a day where the littlest things, in the littlest ways, made you feel you were blessed? And if you died right then, well, you know you’d be missed, but there’s no better state to cease to exist, and you wouldn’t be sad, and you wouldn’t resist, because you knew what you’d had and were thankful for it in your own little way. I’m a small quiet man. I’ve got no wars to win. I don’t have a big plan. But I love my new place, and I love my old friends, and I scrimp and I save, and one day I’ll have kids. I can truthfully say that my day was like that, until the radio playing on the stand by the bed fired out this report, and in three words they said, like three shots to my head, "The President’s dead."
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