Malvina Reynolds: Song Lyrics and Poems  


Notes: words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1975 Schroder Music Company, renewed 2003. Inspired by a UP news item headlined "Computer Tells Him He's Dead" describing a man in Florida who couldn't get his Medicare bills paid because that computer had him as dead, though the computer that deducted the Medicare premiums from his Social Security check still thought he was alive. Letters, phone calls and visits failed to get the information corrected.

Computers, computers, computers wherever you turn.
Those chips are so loaded with hot information
You'd think they would burn.
Some of it's factual, actual,
Some of it's made of thin air.
Whatever gets in a computer
Stays there.

You can put almost anything in there that comes to your mind.
The programmer gets lost in the shuffle, the scuffle,
The dope stays behind.
Some of its factual, actual,
Some of it is double-faced.
Whatever gets in a computer
Isn't erased.

Our lives have been fed to computers, every thought, every dream,
Everything that we've bought that has rusted or busted
Or split at the seam,
Every up, every down,
Every howl, every glimmer of luck.
When something gets in a computer
It's stuck.

The stuff that we have in our heads is a different affair.
We've hoarded and sorted, amended and bended
And let in the air.
But computer banks grow like a cancer,
They can always produce a wrong answer
And they never are troubled with doubt.
And once you get in a computer
You never get out.

Malvina Reynolds songbook(s) in which the music to this song appears:
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Malvina Reynolds recording(s) on which this song is performed:
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This page copyright 2006 by Charles H. Smith and Nancy Schimmel. All rights reserved.

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