Times were trying during the period of the Rapp Coudert Committee, however, as they used to say about the Spanish Civil War, the fascists may have won it, but we had the better songs. Here, for example, is my colleague, Norman Franklin’s song about the president of City College at the time, Harry N. Wright, who collapsed obligingly before the witch-hunters. It was called, “If Wright is Right,” and went:

If Wright is Right (1939)
By Norman Franklin


I’ve attended classes in logic,  
Meeting in and out of season,  
And I’ve learned in time  
In employing rhyme,  
To employ a little reason.

My prexy tells me my teachers  
Still are academically free.  
With what’s going on,  
Prexy’s tripped upon  
A logical fallacy.  
I’ll proceed to demonstrate accordingly,  
Q. E. D.


If Wright is right,  
Then wrong is right  
And dark is bright  
And day is night.  
If Wright is right, no need to fight for logic or for knowledge.

But if Wright is wrong,  
Then wrong’s still wrong.  
Reason triumphs in life and song.  
If Wright is wrong, our guys belong back in City College.

Oh, how can you crush an “ism,”  
When your own “ism” ain’t got the gis’m  
To stand the test of a syllogism.

If might made right,  
Wright might be right,  
But you can’t make right from dynamite –  
Which brings the logical end in sight –  
Wright’s emphatically –  
So fanatically –  
Wright is radically wrong.