Brandon!

 

Jon Reisman

Branded was a mid 1960’s TV western starring Chuck Connors as US Army cavalry captain Jason McCord who is court-martialed and cashiered for cowardice. McCord is innocent, but maintains silence to protect the reputation of his mentor and commanding officer, and to prevent corrupt Washington elites from launching another genocidal war against Native Americans. McCord travels around the 1880’s west trying to prove he is not a coward, protect the innocent and punish the guilty.
The opening theme of Branded was played against McCord being drummed out of the Army, having his Captain’s bars stripped and his sword broken. Here are the original lyrics:

Branded
All but one man died,
There at Bitter Creek,
And they say he ran away ...

Branded!
Marked with a coward's shame.
What do you do when you're branded,
Will you fight for your name?

He was innocent,
Not a charge was true,
But the world will never know ...

Branded!
Scorned as the one who ran.
What do you do when you're branded,
And you know you're a man?
And wherever you go
for the rest of your life
You must prove ...
You're a man!

Stripped of all his rank,
Stripped of all his pride,
Still he held his head up high!

Branded!
Friends are a thing unknown!
What do you do when you're branded?
Can you go on alone?

Of his Gen'ral Reed,
And the men who died,
He can never speak the truth!

Branded!
That's not the way to die!
What do you do when you're branded?
Can you live with a lie?
Branded!

More than 20 years ago, a new UMM President announced to the faculty he was launching a “Branding” initiative to better market the university. Because I was an irreverent wiseacre tenured faculty member with no respect for the (very liberal) new President, I immediately responded via all campus e-mail with a reference to the 1960’s show. The President responded by indicating his desire to eradicate the Business program.
Now that I am a soon to  be retired wiseacre version of the Muppets Statler and Waldorf, I have responded to recent polling indicating that President Brandon has succeeded in uniting the nation in that 90% believe we are the on the wrong track with a rewrite of the classic Branded opening:

Brandon
All the Democrats cried,
And gave a  Bitter Shriek,
Hunter's laptop was Disinfo....

Brandon!
Marked with a liar's fame.
What do you do when you're Brandon,
Will you fight for Hunter's name?

Dog Face Pony Soldier
Every charge was true,
But the world will never know ...

Brandon!
Scorned as the one who ran.
What do you do when you're Brandon,
And you haven't got a fan?

And wherever you go
for the rest of your life
You must prove ...
Come on man!

Undeserved rank,
Undeserved pride,
Still he was the Bigliest  Guy!

Brandon!
Throw Kamala the VP bone!
What do you do when you're Brandon?
Can't read the script alone.

Of his Boss Barack,
And the Afghan vets who died,
He can never speak the truth!

Brandon!
He knows the way to lie!
What do you do when you're Brandon?
Every day’s a lie.
Brandon!

Effective September 1 2022, Jon Reisman is retiring from the University of Maine at Machias after 38 years.  Mr. Reisman’s views are his own and he welcomes comments as letters to the editor here, or to him directly via email at [email protected].

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