Boffo Yux Dudes - The Ballad of the Last of the Hackers (Shadow)

from by Various Artists

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John Henry Wadsworth III was a linux drivin' man
He plied the open range with open source
He never paid attention to the big boys in the game
He figured mac os had run it's course

You knew him by his red hat, the fedora on his head
He moseyed from mandriva to ubuntu
Always rustled up a code block and he never asked for thanks
Cause the freedom of the net was all he knew

Won't you shed a tear for a code-drivin' man?
John Henry did his best to keep things free
He went up against the big boys and he made a final stand
Just to keep the source open for you and me

Now, the big men came a'callin with their fancy SDKs
Tried to gather all the code up with their patents
Mac and Microsoft insured they'd control it end-to-end
And whoever didn't go along was flattened

The winds of change were blowin', John knew that it was true
When the man came callin', asked to be his backer
John shook his head and raised his eyes, said to the exec's face
"Sir, you may have cash, but for damn sure you're no hacker."

The Microsoft man's eyes narrowed, he had an evil grin
Said "Now, son, I'll bet you're smarter than you look,
If you can write a program that'll outclock what we got
We'll step off of the internet and give back what we took."

John Henry was a fightin' man, and sure, he had his pride
So he stepped up for a match against their best
There was Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Wozniak and guys from Oracle
He knew that this would be his final test

They started coding at the dawn, Mountain Dew chugged by the gallon
The coders dropped like rain, John Henry lingered
The stress it finally killed him, maybe it was a broken heart
But the coroner claimed it was broken fingers

So remember good John Henry, keep his memory alive
Keep your code free, bug-safe, and always relevant
His stuff is out there on the web for us to use today
And he lived his life to move us past development

credits

from SpinTunes #6: Round 3, released February 26, 2013

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Spintown Middletown, Ohio

I run a songwriting contest called SpinTunes. Most of the material hosted on this account is a result of that contest. You can follow the contest on Twitter (@SpinTunes) or my personal account (@Spintown).

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