“AGGIE GET YOUR GUND”


Song Tribute to Agnes Gund upon receiving

the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal

from the Municipal Art Society,

Beacon Court, October 5, 2004,

by Christopher Mason


(To the tune of “You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun”)


When she says “Oh why oh why oh

Did I ever leave Ohio?”

You can bet Aggie’s pulling your leg;

The truth is, she’s a corker,

A tried and true New Yorker

And it’s clear that she’s a star

Who outshines us all by far

In how she thrives

Improving lives.


When the goons at Port Authority

Had made it their priority

To desecrate the jewel of JFK,

Philip Johnson and Bob Stern

Knew exactly where to turn:

Aggie raised a press alert,

Shamed developers, dished the dirt,

Thus TWA still stands today!


(Thanks to...) Aggie Gund, Aggie Gund,

A masterpiece of modernism lives,

So when the worst kind of vermin’ll

Try to wreck your terminal,

You know who to call,

She’ll take on City Hall,

When you’re outgunned,

Call Aggie Gund.


When community gardens

Were threatened without pardons

From a certain mayor who tried to close them down,

Aggie rallied a green army

To take on Giuliani;

With all the cash she gave

80 gardens she helped save,

They were gloomin’ and now they’re blooming.


Thanks to Aggie, thanks to Aggie,

Petunias and begonias abound;

‘cause while others quiver,

Aggie can deliver,

But can YOU figure why

Aggie still claims she’s shy?

Retiring one –

You get things done!


Lest you think that she’s a saint,

I can tell you that she ain’t,

She’s a ball of mischief, wicked to the core;

Daniel says she likes to dabble

But she always cheats at Scrabble,

Coining words imaginary

Not in Webster’s dictionary,

It’s a stretch

And folks kvetch.


It is said men don’t make passes

At ladies who wear glasses:

Is that why she loses three pairs a day?

And she’s a really lousy date

‘cause she always shows up late,

But when she’s driving the Taconic,

Her speed is quite demonic,

It’s kinda sad – she’s really bad.


(to the title song from Mame)

But...You sure do have the gift to inspire, Aggie,

You’re just the kind of gal we admire, Aggie,

You’ve got a lust for life,

An urge to give that’s pretty hard to quench,

You may be from Ohio

But Manhattan never had a truer mensch;

You led the fund for Tribute in Light, Aggie,

To show the world hope still can shine bright, Aggie,

A sense of civic pride,

A passion to do what you think is right,

You’ve really made a splash,

With all that Cornflake cash,

You really are a smash...


[SPOKEN:] Oh yes you are.....She’s bashful!


(to the tune of “Home on the Range)

By a sweet twist of fate,

It was on a blind date

That Aggie met Daniel, it’s said;

A lawyer is he,

But he’d much rather be

A gentleman farmer instead!


Like some character actor,

He now drives a tractor,

Life’s complete –

They’ve got wheat, barns and ploughs – yes, sirree!

It’s a far cry from MoMA,

But what an aroma!

Go visit, you’ll KNOW they’ve got cows!


Kent, farming in Kent,

Where the rare breed cattle look cute;

There Daniel relaxes,

Ignores calls and faxes –

Pretends he does not own a suit!


(to the tune of “You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun)

When Aggie’s buying art she’s teaming

With that funny squishy feeling

In her stomach like she’s falling in love – that’s what she says!

But playing catch with her dog Tina,

A Wheaton named Wheatina,

She’s been known to throw a ball

That bounces off the wall,

This woman of culture

Has broken sculpture.


She is upbeat and merry

If she thinks you’ll vote for Kerry,

But watch out if you’re rooting for Bush;

She thinks the present incumbent

Has shown us all what “dumb” meant,

She’ll go door-to-door campaigning

Till it looks like Kerry’s gaining,

She’ll knock on doors –

Maybe yours!


But aside from all her causes,

The one thing that she adores is

To be playing with her grand-kids – She’s got 7, nearly 8!

It pays to invite her,

’cause she’ll even change a diaper!

What a sport! What a champ!

To oblige when baby’s damp!

That’s how she survives –

Improving lives.


Grandma Aggie, grandma Aggie,

Thanks to her we have Studio in a School;

She would urge us turn our hearts to

What the Municipal Arts do;

‘Cause let’s face it, New York City

Can be gritty, far from pretty,

But you’ve....

Helped it improve.


If Aggie had her druthers –

Have one thing, give up all others,

She’d be a ballet star and dance a pas-de-deux – with Peter Martins.

Well now she ain’t no ballerina

But she’s our cultural czarina,

And to me, she is a star

Who outshines us all by far

She’s learned to give

To make New York a better place to live


(Mame...)

You sure do have the gift to inspire, Aggie,

You’re just the kind of gal we admire, Aggie,

You’ve got a lust for life,

An urge to give that’s pretty hard to quench,

You may be from Ohio

But Manhattan never had a truer mensch;

You led the fund for Tribute in Light, Aggie,

To show the world hope still can shine bright, Aggie,

A sense of civic pride,

A feeling for the causes that you fund,

You sure have made a splash

With all that cornflake cash!

Let’s face it you’re a smash

Aggie Gund !