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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Singin’ the Furlough Blues


There’s a song for everything, even furloughs.

Furloughs at the Defense Department started on Monday, so we thought we’d share this little gem that resurfaced on YouTube. It’s a twist on the 1966 classic “Monday, Monday” by The Mamas and The Papas, replacing some of the original lyrics with ones about unpaid leave, 30-day warnings and an obligatory dig at Congress. Mama Sass, doing a pretty decent Mama Cass impression in full hippie regalia, laments federal furloughs.

Here’s a sample:

Monday, Monday, it’s furlough day.
Monday, Monday, it’s the day I get no pay.
Oh, Monday morning, with 30-day warning, it’s at home I will stay.
Oh, Monday morning, I’m at home, and kids are at play.

Sass goes on to slam lawmakers, noting that “our dear Congress, they’re still getting all of their pay. Oh, Monday morning, all I do is sit home and pray.” Many songwriters have complained about Mondays, but this might be the first one about furloughs.

Can someone please set sequestration to music? Maybe we’d all understand it better in song.

(h/t: The Facebook page, How I Spent My Furlough Day)

Kellie Lunney covers federal pay and benefits issues, the budget process and financial management. After starting her career in journalism at Government Executive in 2000, she returned in 2008 after four years at sister publication National Journal writing profiles of influential Washingtonians. In 2006, she received a fellowship at the Ohio State University through the Kiplinger Public Affairs in Journalism program, where she worked on a project that looked at rebuilding affordable housing in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. She has appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, NPR and Feature Story News, where she participated in a weekly radio roundtable on the 2008 presidential campaign. In the late 1990s, she worked at the Housing and Urban Development Department as a career employee. She is a graduate of Colgate University.

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