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  1. Denali, Not McKinley

From the album Red Beet Records - 2008

Lyrics

By Peter Cooper (Well Known Music, SESAC, admin. by Bug Music)
& Todd Snider (Nobody's Collecting on These Songs, admin. by Bug Music, BMI)

Fly to Anchorage, and then drive up through Wasilla (you betcha, wink, wink) to Talkeetna. Crest a hill and look off into a distance that seems to get less distant the higher up you point your chin, and it’s awfully hard to make the argument that the high, high mountain should be named after a long-gone Ohio politician who never even visited the place. Mount Denali was a sacred place for native Alaskan tribes long before there was a Washington, DC. Next, let’s go to the Great Pyramid of Giza and call it “Point Gerald Ford.” Or we could find another sacred mountain, this one in the violently captured land of North Dakota, and scar it with the faces of four white presidents. Anyway, Peter was on a plane when he first saw the thing and called it by the name he’d read in his fourth grade textbook. Derision and melody ensued.

________________________________________

Flying down to Homer I could hardly wait
It was my first time leaving the Lower 48
Took a big plane to Anchorage, a little plane to get to the gig
As we were bumping through the air up in that rickety jet
I saw a big old mountain, I said, “Man, I bet
That must be Mount McKinley," ‘cuz I knew that Mt. McKinley was big
But the lady sitting next to me said, “Oh no, son
You’re gonna make somebody mad if you say something that dumb
It’s Denali, not McKinley
Ask the mountain if you don’t believe me”
She said, "McKinley was a way to kiss a president’s ass
And that might have changed what you and your friends called it in class
But McKinley’s dead and gone
Denali is and always will be"

Denali, not McKinley
Denali, not McKinley
Denali not McKinley is the great one, the high one
McKinley not Denali is the great white lie, man
Denali, not McKinley
Hey, hey hey

She said, "We’d been calling it Denali for a thousand years
When a man in a suit a long way from here
Said, 'The name is Mt. McKinley. Any objections? No? Done.'
And that may carry weight in the lower 48
But you’re about a thousand years too late
To pull that kind of junk on the Upper One"

It’s Denali, not McKinley
Denali, not McKinley
Denali not McKinley is the great one, the high one
McKinley not Denali is the great white lie, man
Denali, not McKinley
Hey, hey hey
Denali, not McKinley
Denali, not McKinley
Denali not McKinley is the great one, the high one
McKinley not Denali is the great white lie, man
Denali, not McKinley
Hey, hey hey

All materials copyright © Peter Cooper | Duplication without consent is prohibited