Tuli Kupferberg didn’t write Chameleon about ultimate DC political chameleon Colin Powell, but it fits perfectly. It’s about the Vicar of Bray, who seemingly had no actual beliefs but instead slithered into and remained in power through successive monarchs by making his beliefs match theirs. No doubt he would have cheerfully perjured himself under oath too, in support of the current monarch.
Tuli, a founding member of The Fugs, says:
The English clergy are paid by the state as well they should be. And the Vicar of Bray was a legendary, most famous survivor of that system. He served under Charles II, James II, William III, Queen Anne, George I,,II, uh, He became legendary, no one could have lived that long
Of course he changed his belief with every succession to the one that new monarch had, so no more than right either, so he was successively Catholic, Anglican, High Church, Low Church, Establishment, disestablishment, then antidisestablishment, he was Tory, Whig, Jew, no, no, that can’t be right.
Anyway,this song is dedicated to his memory. It’s called “Chameleon” or the Time Servers song, The Belly Dance of the Vicar or Bray.
‘In the winter I’m a Buddhist,
in the summer I’m a nudist
In Jerusalem Talmudist,
in Hellfire Club the crudest,
When Democrats are winning
Liberalities I’m spinning
When Republicans are panting
Racist slogans I am chanting