play [ download ] HARDWIRED  Performed by Lavin, Ippolito and Batteau

AFTER READING ABOUT FASCINATING RESEARCH BEING DONE BY SOCIAL SCIENTISTS, I TRACKED THREE OF THEM DOWN:  JOHN ALFORD AT RICE UNIVERSITY, JOHN HIBBING AT UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA, AND JEFF MONDAK AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- AND ASKED THEM TO HELP ME WRITE A SONG ON THIS TOPIC. THIS WAS TOUGH, SO WE ASKED Pulitzer Prize winning WASHINGTON POST HUMORIST  GENE WEINGARTEN TO HELP ON THIS PROJECT, TOO.  THE RESULT IS A SONG WE ALL COLLABORATED ON THAT CONTAINS A FIVE-QUESTION QUIZ TO SEE HOW YOU COMPARE TO OTHER LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES WHO'VE ANSWERED THESE QUESTIONS.  LISTEN AND SCORE YOURSELF AS YOU GO ALONG -- RESIST YOUR IMPULSE TO 'READ AHEAD' TO SEE WHAT YOUR RESPONSE MEANS.  I RECORDED THE SONG WITH DAVID IPPOLITO AND ROBIN BATTEAU, WHO ARE AS INTRIGUED AS I AM ON WITH THIS SUBJECT MATTER.  

ADDED 10/24/09:  Here's a link to comments on this song (scroll down after the lyrics on the songramp page): Songramp


Social scientists have been working night and day
Checking re-checking re-re-checking  DNA
After years of research the knowledge they've acquired
Has scientists thinking we might just be hard-wired

Hard wired to be Liberal with an open trusting mind
Hard wired to be Conservative with a different view of mankind
If you'll indulge me this simple request
Please answers these questions from a Left/Right test

Fascinating research is being done in the field of political psychology.  
Here's a five-question quiz for all of us to take
to see how we compare to others on the Liberal/Conservative scale.
When you score a Liberal point count it on your left hand.  
When you score a Conservative point, count it on your right.

Question #1:
Could you slap your father in the face (with his permission) as part of a comedy skit?
I said Could you slap your father in the face (with his permission) as part of a comedy skit?

How did you answer?  Which way did you go?
Would such a slap be an unforgiveable blow?
For Conservatives slapping dad would cause too much stress
(Liberals don't have the same daddy issues I guess)

So if you said "Yes I could slap my dad" –
more Liberals answered that way so that's a point for your left hand.  
More Conservatives said, "No, I couldn't slap dad"
so if that's how you responded, that's a point for your right hand.  

O.K., let's try Question #2
And keep in mind who's sitting right next to you
Because they'll know if your response is not true
After you have answered Question #2

When you go to work in the morning, do you often leave your house or apartment a mess?
I said When you go to work in the morning, do you often leave your house or apartment a mess?

How did you answer that?  which way do you go?
Conservatives are tidy, but Liberals. . .  no
The embarrassing thing is now we all know
In whose homes those dust bunnies grow

Question #3
Which lesson is more important to teach to children?
Kindness or respect?
I said Which lesson is more important to teach to children?
Kindness or respect?

How did you answer that?  Which way did you go?
In this situation which word is apropos?
Liberals choose kindness as a raison detre
While Conservatives want respect, you betcha

OK here comes question #4
Answer "I Do" or "I Don't"
Maybe you'll find this revealing
But who knows, maybe you won't

Do you get bored debating abstract philosophical ideas and theoretical conundrums?
That's right I said
Do you get bored debating abstract philosophical ideas and theoretical conundrums?

How did you answer that? Not bored at all?
If Socrates phoned, would you take the call?
The Liberal finds theory fun and amusing
But abstract ideas send Conservatives snoozing

(If you just fell asleep during that last verse . . .
score yourself an extra bonus point .  .  .
on your right hand of course)

OK, final question #5 –
Think about this carefully for the next 15 seconds -
"Cleanliness is next to Godliness"
(one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, one thousand four . . . one thousand fifteen)
"Cleanliness is next to Godliness" . . .  
Which answer is closer to your current thought?
A)  . . . makes sense . . .OK . . .
B)  What???

How did you answer?    A . . . makes sense . . . OK
If you did that's the Conservative Way
If you said "What???" that answer conveys
your anterior cingulate cortex has a Liberal sway

How did you do?  How did you score?
Anybody score five?
Anybody score four?
Maybe you're a bit of both sides of the aisle
You think you're just one . . .
but you're half in denial

These tests show our responses come from down deep
Hey I know I'm a Liberal even in my sleep
But now I know Conservatives prefer honor . . . stability
Liberals curiosity, fun, civility

Expecting either of us to change is unwise
It's like asking us to adjust the color of our eyes
I feel more understanding even inspired
When I think it could be that we're all . . .

Hardwired  hardwired  hardwired  hardwired . . .
I am a Liberal I am a Liberal I am a Liberal I am a Liberal . . .
I am a Conservative Oh I am a Conservative . . .

Credits:

Christine Lavin:  guitar, vocal
Steve Doyle:  bass
Robin Batteau:  violin, vocal
David Ippolito:  vocal
Brian Bauers:  producer
Recorded at Midtown Sound, NYC, October 1, 2009

© 2009 Christine Lavin, John Alford, John Hibbing, Jeff Mondak, and Gene Weingarten

updated 3 years ago