Setter on the Roof

By Roz Warren and Janet Golden

When I read that Mitt Romney had once driven for twelve hours with the terrified family dog, an Irish Setter, caged on the roof of his car, this lyric, to the tune of “Fiddler on the Roof” popped into my head:

What does it mean, this Setter on the roof
Who whimpers through the morn and then all afternoon.
What kind of nudnick chooses such a way
To schlep a much-loved family pet?

Setter on the RoofThat’s just the way my mind works. Apparently my pal Janet’s mind works the same way, because when I emailed my new lyric to her, she came right back with:

How much was that doggie on the car roof?
The one with the PAC money dad
How much was that doggie on the car roof?
I wonder why he looks so sad.

At which point, we put our heads together to rewrite the Elvis classic “Hound Dog:”

You ain’t nothing but a roof dog.
Crying all the time.
You ain’t nothing but a roof dog.
Crying all the time.
You won’t ever cast a vote, pal
So you ain’t no friend of mine.

After that, “On Top Of Old Smokey” quickly became:

On top of a Caddy
Racing down the pike
I spied Mitt’s poor doggy.
He was pooping with fright.

(Actually, the car was a station wagon. But “Caddy” scanned better, and given the number of Cadillacs owned by the Romneys, we figured we could use our artistic license to borrow one.)

Next, Janet reworked “Old Yeller” into:

The dog was no mongrel.
Just a freaked out Irish setter.
Caged, not free. Not a Bain Trustee.
But up on the roof he could spew it.
And prove there’s nothing to it.
And that’s how a good dog should be.

And I turned “Who Let The Dogs Out” into:

Who caged the dog up?
Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!

After which we both decided it was time to stop. But we’ll leave you with this:

A dog caged on the roof.
A most unhappy sight.
It may not mean a thing
But we think it just might.

(Note: Roz and Janet wish to thank their muse for this piece, the incomparable Gail Collins.)

Roz Warren