Malvina Reynolds: Song Lyrics and Poems  

The Little Mouse

Notes: words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1976 Schroder Music Company, renewed 2004.

A little mouse got into the wires
At the central clearing house in Buenos Aires.
One little mouse short circuited the computers,
Says a press dispatch from Reuters.

Hooray for the little mouse
That mucked1 up the clearing house,
And threw the Stock Exchange in a spin
And made the bankers cry.

So much for the electronic brains,
That run the world of banks and aeroplanes,
And if one little mouse can set them all awry,
Why not you and I?

Then there was another item in the papers
About a bank's computers
That messed up the accounts
So the farmer's checks all bounced,
So his business fell apart
And it nearly broke his heart.
So he took the bank to court,
And they gave him an award
Of a hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
The bank appealed and on due consideration
The higher court doubled the compensation.

So if a computer does it to you,
You can sue, or chew the wires through.

Malvina Reynolds songbook(s) in which the music to this song appears:
---- The Malvina Reynolds Songbook

Malvina Reynolds recording(s) on which this song is performed:
---- Mama Lion
---- Ear to the Ground
---- Malvina Reynolds...Sings the Truth (2008)
---- listen to video

Additional note
1. Nancy Schimmel notes that Malvina didn't sing the word "mucked" in concert, but that most singers wouldn't get the shock value she could get from singing what she did sing. Malvina once sang the song for Suni Paz, who then wrote her own version of the incident in a song she titled "El Ratoncito" (it appears on her children's songs album Canciones Para el Recreo [Children's Songs for the Playground] on Folkways FC 7850).

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This page copyright 2006 by Charles H. Smith and Nancy Schimmel. All rights reserved.

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