In addition to the hit songs he wrote for a number of shows, including the ILGWU-sponsored Pins and Needles, Harold Rome also wrote at least two songs that were in response to the rise of McCarthyism in the entertainment industry and also to the violations of civil liberties attributed to FBI head J. Edgar Hoover.



Gee, But I’d Like to Be a G-Man (1938)
By Harold Rome

Verse:   

When I grow up, I don’t want to be a fireman.
That’s just kid stuff – just kid stuff.
When I grow up, I don’t want to be a policeman.
They’re not tough enough – not tough enough.
When I grow up, I don’t want to work for the city.
My old man says it takes too much outta ya –
The unions botta ya –

So I don’t care to be mayor like LaGuardia.
When I grow up I ‘ve got my plans, see.
They may not be so high-class or fancy
As some people may wish –
But boy, it’s just my dish –
I wouldn’t want to be an A-man, or a B-man, or a
    C-man, or a D-man, or an E-man or an F-man –
Get it? 

Chorus: 

Gee, but I’d like to be a G-man
And go bang-bang-bang!-bang!
I’d be a brave, gang-busting he-man
And go bang-bang-bang-bang!
I’d put on disguises of all different sizes,
And would I win prizes
For telling who spieses.

Gee, but I’d like to be a G-man
And go bang-bang-bang-bang!
(Stick ‘em up, bud!)
And go bang-bang-bang-bang!
(Come clean, you rat!)
And go bang-bang-bang-bang! 

Interlude: 

I’d be known in all the bright spots of New York,
Like Twenty-one and Eighteen and the Stork.
To all the smartest night spots I would go
To find out all the things that a G-man ought to know.
(Tra-la-la-la-la. Tra-la-la-la-la).

And after I’d gone out an got my man,
To Palm Beach I would go to get my tan.
Though making merry, I’d be fancy free,
‘Cause Mrs. Winchell’s boy would be looking out for me! 

Repeat Chorus

Gee, but I’d like to be a G-man,
And go bang-bang-bang-bang!
Just like Dick Tracy, what a he-man,
And go bang-bang-bang-bang
I’d do as I please, act high-handed and regal,
‘Cause when you’re a G-man, there’s nothing illegal. 

Gee, but I’d like to be a G-man
And go bang-bang-bang-bang!
(They got me, pal!)