"Don't Quit Your Day Job" Records

Jessica Mitford

Jessica Mitford sings on four "Don't Quit Your Day Job" Records releases: "Decca & the Dectones," "There Is a Moral to It All," the "Lit-Rock Sampler #1," and the "Stranger Than Fiction" double CD.

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Biographical Information

Decca's accomplishments included running away to Loyalist Spain during the Spanish Civil War; getting subpoenaed by the House Committee on Un-American Activities and its California counterpart, pursuant to her work in the Civil Rights Congress; and riding an elephant in the Ringling Brothers Celebrity Parade. She wrote nine books, including The American Way of Death, The American Way of Birth, Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking, and Grace Had an English Heart, about the English folk heroine, Grace Darling, whose exploits are celebrated on Ms. Mitford's first single, "Decca & the Dectones." Other honors included a Guggenheim Fellowship, an honorary degree from Smith College, the Golden Gadfly Award from the San Francisco Media Alliance, and the inexpensive "Jessica Mitford Casket," created by a coffin manufacturer in response to her expose of the extravagance of U.S. funerals in The American Way of Death.

Jessica Mitford died in July, 1996.

The Ballad of Decca

To be sung to the tune of "Grace Darling." Lyrics by Kathi Goldmark, Bob Treuhaft, Audrey deChadenedes & Tony Goldmark
  1. 'Twas on the grounds of Swinbrook, there dwelt an English maid
    Pure as the air around her, of danger ne'er afraid
    A prisoner of the nursery, as bored as she could be
    So, longing for adventure, she split with Romilly -- and --
    She sailed away o'er the rolling sea, over the waters blue
    "HELP! HELP!" she could hear the cries of a cause so true
    Decca was very smart, integrity she craved
    She pulled away o'er the rolling spray, and her life she saved
  2. She settled in Oakland's flatlands, accepting many a dare
    With Dinky, Bob and Benjy, determined to make things fair
    When the Unamericans rode into town,
    Decca was there with a wink and a frown
    Taking the fifth (which became a noun) she never let her comrades down -- and --
    Fearlessly she sailed into the fray -- relentlessly brave and true
    "HELP! HELP!" she could hear the cry
    That echoed around and pierced the sky
    But she was ready with her reply, "You'll never get me to testify"
  3. But when she sang the Beatles, her life turned upside-down
    With Maxwell and Grace Darling she makes a lovely sound
    So madly looking forward to singing here tonight
    Let's put our hands together for England's brightest light -- as --
    She sails away o'er chorus and verse, accompanied by kazoo
    "HELP! HELP!" you can hear the cries of the Dectones, too
    With a true performer's heart, and vocals strong and brave
    She'll sing today in her dashing way
    And the show she'll save!

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mitford.htm -- Revised August 22, 1998
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