Original song: American Pie
Original artist: Don Mclean
Filk author: Warren Montgomery

See also: The Day Bell System Died
See also: Warren's page, with explanation

The Day That Bell Labs Died

(with apologies and credit for inspiration to Don McClean)

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how Bell Labs would make me smile,
but now I know I have the chance
my pension coverage to enhance
so maybe I'll be happy for a while,
but July 13 will make me shiver,
with every bulletin delivered,
bad news out on Wall Street,
made our stock plan retreat,
I can't remember if I cried
when I saw my 401K slide,
but something makes me mad inside,
the day, that Bell Labs Died. So ...

Bye, bye to the telecom guys
sent a message to the network but the network had died.
Them good old boys all took 5+5
saying this will be the day Bell Labs dies,
this will be the day Bell Labs dies.

[Verse 2]

Did you build a 5E load
and have you emailed on the road,
if your boss once told you to,
and do you believe in circuit's role,
can UNIX save your moral soul
and can you make the photons move real slow.
Well we heard the news from Rich McGinn
when Telecom stocks once were in,
we all kicked up our heels
at those mega merger deals.
I was proud to be an MTS
with a Bell Labs network mail address
but I knew we were in a mess
the day that Bell Labs died. I started singing .. [Chorus]

[Verse 3]

Now for 5 years we've been on our own,
our stock is sinkin like a stone
but that's not how it used to be,
when Henry knocked on Wall Streets door
our profits made our options soar
with results that came from you and me,
while Henry Shacht was stepping down,
McGinn walked off with Lucent's crown.
No profits were returned,
Our options all got burned,
and while Rich ate money like a shark,
building his private golfing park,
we read our emails in the dark,
the day, that Bell Labs died. We were singing ... [Chorus]

[Verse 4]

Helter Skelter in a summer swelter
our shares collapsed just like an old bomb shelter,
six bucks now and fallin fast,
they say they just won't mow the grass,
while Deb Hopkins makes a new deal fast,
with old Henry on the sidelines in the past,
now our options were a sweet reward,
for labours suffered years before,
we all made spending plans,
but we never got the chance.
Oh Henry tried to make a deal but
Alcatel refused to yield,
I think you all know how I feel,
the day, that Bell Labs died. We started singin... [Chorus]

[Verse 5]

Oh and there we were all in a fix,
a generation got deep sixed,
with no time left to start again,
so come on, Rich be nimble, Rich be quick,
or we'll hit you with a stick
because revenge is the workers only kick,
oh and as we watched our sales collapse,
the only plan was spending caps,
no deal with Alcatel
could make our products sell,
and as the debt piled higher than a kite,
and sealed our company's sad plight
John Chambers laughed with great delight,
the day, that Bell Labs died. He was singin... [Chorus]

[Verse 6]

I met a girl who posted news
and I asked her for some inside views,
but she just smiled and turned away,
I hooked up to the network core
where I'd read the newsgroups years before,
but the server said my email went away.
In their homes the people clicked,
sent emails and got downloads quick,
but not a word was spoken,
the local switch was broken.
And the products we admired most,
accountants said would all be toast,
and haunt our ballance sheet like ghosts,
the day, that Bell Labs Died we were singin...

[Chorus Twice]

NoBell Home - gjm - last update 1/3/2004, created 8/2/2001