Jeffrey LewisThe Ballad of ABomb and GDub

Ahmadenijad (A-bomb) sent Bush (G-Dub) a letter that suggesting some “new solutions” in the context of US-Iran relations:

Iran’s leader has written to President Bush proposing “new solutions” to their differences in the first letter from an Iranian head of state to an American president in 27 years, a government spokesman said Monday.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki delivered the letter to the Swiss ambassador on Monday, ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told The Associated Press. The Swiss Embassy in Tehran houses a U.S. interests section.

These guys just don’t get it. If A-Bomb really wanted to work things out with G-Dub, he should have tried a sad puppy birthday card with a little handwritten note, something like You are the best President ever—deserving of great respect.

Or, like, a mix tape. Start off, maybe, with the theme from Friends, go right to the Beatles “We Can Work Out,” toss in Dylan’s “All I Really Want to Do” to soothe any commitment fears, four or five more songs and then … close strong with Marvin Gaye.

Guaranteed normalization of relations right there.

No way Bush makes it all the way through Let’s Get it On without picking up the phone.


Send me: Your tracklist for the Mahmoud & George, TL4E mix tape.

Bonus points if you include cover art.


  1. Haninah

    I think you nailed it already with your playlist. I don’t really see how anything can top Marvin Gaye for getting people in that sweet sweet normalizin’ mood.
    Jeff, you are the best wonk ever—deserving of great respect.

  2. Phila (History)

    This is My Country (The Impressions)
    What We Do Is Secret (The Germs)
    I Stand Accused (Isaac Hayes)
    Point That Thing Somewhere Else (The Clean)
    The Old Folks Started It (Memphis Jug Band)
    I Might Be Wrong (Radiohead)
    I Ain’t Mad At Ya (2Pac)
    I Wanna Be Loved By You (Helen Kane)
    I Wanna Be Your Dog (The Stooges)
    Anyone Who Had a Heart (Dusty Springfield)
    Beware (Louis Jordan)
    You’re Gonna Be Sorry (Dolly Parton)
    Tragedy (Bee Gees)
    Cities on Flame (Blue Oyster Cult)
    Radioactivity (Kraftwerk)
    The End of the World (Skeeter Davis)

  3. Jim

    Really nice, Phila.

  4. John Steven (History)

    “Why Can’t We Be Friends” by War. Even mentions the president and CIA in the lyrics.

  5. Ali

    Not even 24 hours and US has already rejected the letter.

  6. Mark

    You’ve got to take Ahmadinejad’s working-man image into account here. He’s not gonna go for sappy songs like the theme from Friends. And he’s definitely got to throw in some country to appeal to Bush’s Texas side.

    Ace in the Hole (George Strait)
    You May Be Right (Billy Joel)
    The Gambler (Kenny Rogers)
    Brain Damage (Pink Floyd)
    Virtual Insanity (Jamiroquai)
    A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action (Toby Keith)
    Blood Brothers (Bruce Springsteen)
    Does Your Daddy Know About Me (Lonestar)
    I Can Change (South Park)
    Check Yes or No (George Strait)

  7. Yale Simkin

    File this under Silly!

  8. Reposted by Lewis

    Muhammed’s Radio – Warren Zevon
    Medley: My Way/Aintcha Ever Comin’ Back – Frank Sinatra
    Suite: Uranium Bribery Never Fails, Smart Bomb, and Tubthumping (“I get knocked down, but I get up again…”) – Chumbawamba
    Waiting on a Friend – Rolling Stones
    The Envoy – Warren Zevon
    Overture to “Nixon in China” – John Adams
    Give Peace a Chance – John Lennon

    Although, having seen the winner of the Power Point Contest, I’m not sure I trust your judging skills……

  9. Haninah

    Ouch. Harsh, man. Harsh.

  10. Mark

    Hey, you can’t get upset about unfavorable contest results. This isn’t a blogacracy, it’s a blogtatorship. If you think your powerpoint submission was better, then post it on your own website.

    However, I don’t recommend sending your submission around to colleagues at work, who may forward it to other people, etc., until it filters up to your boss’s boss’s boss, who may not have a sense of humor and/or may think it’s real, forcing the need for awkward explanations. That just takes all the fun out of it…

  11. Muskrat (History)

    That was my submission, and the comment was intended solely for the judge’s eyes, in the spirit of “working the ref” NBA style in hopes of influencing future decisions.

    If ACW chooses to adopt the “no arguing balls and strikes” model of MLB, then of course I could be ejected, at the risk of my kicking infield dirt all over Jeff’s shoes.

    And I did have a better PowerPoint entry, but I can’t post it for same reason it didn’t win – it was deeply offensive and politically incorrect.

  12. gmb

    Inside tip—you all should work some “Jeffrey Lewis” into your track lists:

  13. craig

    My take on the kiss and make up, er, normalization mix:

    You Dropped A Bomb On Me – The Gap Band
    Fight For Your Right – Beastie Boys
    Atom Tan – The Clash
    I Want Candy – Bow Wow Wow
    People Are People – Depeche Mode
    Hard To Handle – Otis Redding
    Why Can’t We be Friends – War
    Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club
    Cruel To be Kind – Nick Lowe
    A Little Respect – Erasure
    Tell Me Something Good – Rufus w/ Chaka Khan
    Pick Up The Pieces – Average White Band
    Who’s Gonna Take The Blame – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
    Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye

  14. Scott (History)

    I think “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar would definitely have to be on that tape.

  15. Majid


    Hey you, out there in the cold
    Getting lonely, getting old
    Can you feel me?

  16. Reposted by Lewis

    Another anonymous entry:

    Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except For Me and My Monkey – The Beatles
    Respect – Aretha Franklin
    Army of Jesus – Rudimentary Peni (either that or “Blasphemy Squad”)
    I Hate Israel – Shaaban Abdel Rahim
    Crazy – Willie Nelson
    American Idiot – Greenday
    Fall Out – The Police (or “Bombs Away”; “Deathwish” is also an option)
    Ask – The Smiths (“If it’s not love / then it’s the Bomb / then it’s
    the Bomb / that will bring us together”)

  17. Logan Wright (History)

    Here’s my mix tape. Imagine the songs as alternating parts in a negotiation. This should win some points for eclecticism, regardless:

    1) I’m Waiting for the Man- Velvet Underground (“Hey white boy, what you doin’ uptown?)
    2) Ben Folds Five- Army (just the first stanza, I suppose…think about it…and then laugh)
    3) 99 Problems- Jay-Z
    4) You’re Crazy- Guns N’Roses
    5) Friends in Low Places- Garth Brooks
    6) Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)- Janis Joplin
    7) You Can’t Always Get What You Want- The Rolling Stones
    8) Texas Never Whispers- Pavement
    9) Live Forever- Oasis
    10) Come On Feel the Noise- Quiet Riot
    11) Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance- Bob Dylan
    12) Armaggedon Days Are Here (Again)- The The
    13) I Would Do Anything for Love (but I won’t do that)- Meat Loaf

  18. Tom (History)

    I’m probably going to be damned to the nine hells for this one but the tape would have to include:

    Liza Minelli – Don’t Drop Bombs

    All you get is the one song… my brain seized up after than one.

  19. Timbo (History)

    My ten cents:

    #1 Crush (I Would Die For You) – Garbage
    Something I Can Never Have – Nine Inch Nails
    Can’t Get Enough of Your Love Babe – Barry White (Can’t believe no one threw in some Barry).
    Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered – Laura Fygi
    Take a Picture – Filter (“Can everyone agree that no one should be left alone”)
    So Alive – Love and Rockets
    I’ll Fall With Your Knife – Peter Murphy
    Try a Little Tenderness – Otis Redding
    Pictures of You – The Cure
    Never Let Me Down Again – Smashing Pumpkins cover
    I Can’t Stop Loving You – Ray Charles
    Letting the Cables Sleep (Apocalyptica Remix) – Bush (“Silence is not the way, we need to talk about it”)
    There’ll be Some Changes Made – Tony Bennet
    ‘Taint What You Do (It’s the way that you do it) – Julie London
    Where is my Mind – Pixies
    What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

    Alternative “It’s all gone to hell” mix.

    Everything’s Fucked – Pitchshifter
    Head Like a Hole – Nine Inch Nails
    Last Caress/Green Hell – Metallica cover
    Die Motherfucker Die – Dope
    Blue Monday – Orgy cover
    Only Happy When it Rains – Garbage
    Bad Religion – Godsmack
    Nice Guys Finish Last – Green Day
    Check Yo Self – Ice Cube
    The End of Something – Rollins Band