Miami: Stick It in Your Ear

And the winner by a landslide is...

More than a few thoughtful callers chastised New Times for not taking an activist role. "I'd like your song a lot better," counseled one, "if instead of just knocking Miami, your song also came up with some solutions to the problems." Historically this has not been a very successful tactic (the last person to set policy papers to music was Walter Mondale in his 1984 campaign against Ronald Reagan), but New Times nonetheless is experimenting with several new problem-solving tunes, including one set to an old Paul Simon melody, tentatively titled "50 Ways to Better Govern."

Just raise a new tax, Max
Hire some cops, Pops
Pave a few streets, Pete
And listen to me
Then tear down the arena, Sabrina
Annex the Keys, Lee
Spray wackos with mace, Ace
To get yourself free

Of course, not everyone appreciated New Times's efforts, and a variety of callers left the usual threats of death and mutilation. "That song was an insult to the people of Miami!" screamed one woman. "If you don't like it here, get the hell out!" Another caller wondered, "I don't know why you smart-alecks in the media keep trying to bring this city down."

"Oh please," another woman sighed in disgust. "I definitely liked the Philip Michael Thomas version better. That other thing just sounded like a lot of little boys getting together and making some music in their daddy's garage." One cynic had this to say: "I don't like either version. I don't like Miami, either."

The vast majority of comments, though, were not only laudatory toward the Magic City Loungers but encouraging as well. "Why don't you guys do songs for all of the cities in Dade County?" asked one gentleman. The possibilities are endless. Songs such as "I Left My Wife for Dead in Hialeah" or "Have You Ever Been to Sweetwater?" seem like naturals. And what about this tune for homestead, set to the Southern classic, "Dixie":

Way down south in the land of Homestead
Good times there, they are forgotten
Move away
Move away
Move away
To safer land

Among the many hundreds of comments, all of them greatly appreciated, perhaps the most insightful came from one fellow who asked the musical question: "Who said Miami needed a song anyway

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