Malvina Reynolds: Song Lyrics and Poems  

The Emperor Has No Clothes

Notes: words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1965 Schroder Music Company, renewed 1993.

Well the emperor wears no clothes,
All he's got on is a slogan,
It's really not much of a thing,
He'd be better off wearing a g-string,
The emperor has no clothes.

They wove him a suit out of nothing,
A couple of worn-out phrases.
"Commitments," "aggression" and such,
He paid through the nose for the touch,
And the emperor has no clothes.

He's got mud and blood all over,
And that is a rotten cover,
Him heading a fine procession
With only his facial expression,
The emperor has no clothes.

The Frenchman said, "You're naked!"
But the emperor couldn't hear.
An adman was filling his ear
With a story of destiny--
A man who was bare as Adam,
As any small child could see.

He stands like Napoleon
With his hand tucked into his jacket,
But he really hasn't a jacket,
No trouser, no pocket, no placket,
The emperor has no clothes.

The rogues are selling him napalm,
Airplanes, bullets and rockets,
A prospectus for doomsday war,
Plus a noble historical stance,
When what he needs are some decent civilian pants.

Malvina Reynolds songbook(s) in which the music to this song appears:
---- [none]

Malvina Reynolds recording(s) on which this song is performed:
---- [none]

*                 *                 *                 *                *

This page copyright 2007 by Charles H. Smith and Nancy Schimmel. All rights reserved.

Return to Song Menu
Return to Home