I recently found this video of a song by Boston folkie Bob Blue that I first heard back in the late 80s. Here we have a live version from an SMU commencement several years ago, performed by noted Professor Francis Collins, leader of the Human Genome Project.
I Did It Their Way
I came, I bought all my books, lived in the dorm, followed directions.
I worked, I studied hard; met lots of folks who had connections.
I crammed, they gave me grades — though may I say, not in a fair way–
But more, much more than this, I did it THEIR way.
I memorized all sorts of things, although I know I’ll never use them.
The courses that I took were all required; I didn’t choose them.
I learned that to survive it’s best to act the doctrinaire way,
And so I buckled down, and did it THEIR way.
Yes, there were times I wondered why
I had to walk when I could fly.
I had my doubts, but after all —
I’d trimmed my wings, I learned to crawl.
I learned to bend, and in the end —
I did it THEIR way!
And so, my fine young friends, now that I am a full Professor,
Where once I was oppressed I have become the cruel oppressor.
Like me, you’ll learn to cope, you’ll learn to climb life’s golden
Like me, you’ll see the light, and do it THEIR way.
So what is a man? What can I do?
Open your books, read chapter two,
And if it seems a bit routine,
Don’t speak to me: go see the Dean.
They get their way, I get my pay —
I do it THEIR way!