by Christopher Mason

(Performed at a party in Southampton, New York, welcoming Howard and Michele Kessler, the Palm Beach and Boston-based philanthropists, on their first visit to the Hamptons, August 2009.)

to “I Come From Alabama With a Banjo On my Knee”

They came from Massachusetts,

Planned to fly here privately,

But it rained, it poured,

So they endured the crowded L.I.E.

Welcome Kesslers! Southampton can be swell

If you quickly learn the back roads,

’Cause the highway can be hell.

Michele and Howard have seen the world

But here’s the curious twist:

They’ve never hit the Hamptons,

So they’re virgins in our midst!

Beware, on Main Street, cappuccino’s ten bucks each!

And you’re going to need a permit

Just to drive down to the beach.

to Greenacres:

Southampton’s plush, as Wilbur says,

Not too many subprime mortgages!

The ocean’s glorious so get your fix,

Enjoy the dunes, but watch out for the ticks!

Night stars!

Cool cars!

Warm pools!

Nice jewels!

Southampton has tremendous flair,

White-collar felons everywhere!

If you don’t have friends who’ve been to jail,

Your social life may be a little stale!

Old oaks!

Great folks!

Neat shops!

Tough cops!

For those who NetJet back and forth,

Southampton’s really Palm Beach North;

Same ocean, same old gilded throng,

Some find it . . . taxing staying here too long!

to “Summertime”

Summertime, and Southampton’s so peaceful,

Fresh tomatoes and the cornstalks are high;

But hear that drumming of the Shinnecock Indians,

They’re planning to build casinos nearby.

One of these mornings you’re gonna wake up exclaiming,

You hear slot machines, and your heart’s full of dread,

But till that morning, pray the Shinnecock Indians

Decide that they’ll build in Hampton Bays instead!

to “Greenacres”

Southampton is the life of luxe,

Sweet haven while the world’s in flux;

Poor Wilbur must work harder ‘til

He can pay Mario Buatta’s bill!

to “Puppet On a String”

Hiring Mario Buatta

Seems smarter for sure,

He can conjure visual magic

If you can endure

His cockroach on a string!

He’s a kinda vaudevillian


In chintz,

His Chinoiserie pavilion

Is fit for a prince

With a cockroach on a string!

to “Green Acres”

As house guests here of Wil and Hil,

Lucky Kesslers have an extra thrill:

The brand new guesthouse has made them swoon,

It’s almost like they’re here on honeymoon!

to “Consider Yourself”

Consider yourselves ensconced,

Consider yourself part of the neighborhood,

With Wilbur and Hil you’ve scored:

With friends like these you will not be bored!

If perchance you should receive some giant bonus soon,

And you’re hounded in the press,

Lloyd Blankfein can advise how to stem the pain

Of conspicuous success!

And if you should feel too hot

And long for some breeze, fear not, a jot,

FanJuls and Guardiolas will oblige for sure

To whisk you away on a yacht.

Consider yourselves chez vous

Consider yourselves part of this firmament.

You’re intimate pals, that’s key,

It’s plain to see, you’re practically family,

If you should have a whim to be immortalized,

In a way that’s chic, not crude,

Maybe if you’re lucky Billy Rayner might agree

To sketch you in the nude!

And just for the record books, Harry Benson won’t snap no schnooks

But this Commander of the British Empire would adore

To capture your handsome looks.

Consider yourselves ensconced,

Consider yourselves part of this gilded set,

With Wilbur and Hil you’ve scored:

With friends like these you will not be bored!

In a world where major moguls and gazillionaires

Act like regular, plain folks

You know that you’ve arrived

When Wendy Lehman starts to e-mail you dirty jokes!

If you’d like to be Broadway stars

Debra Black could just make your day

And Jane Hitchcock would be tickled pink to feature you

In her next . . . roman à clef!

to “Green Acres”

We hope you have a swell weekend

And this capricious weather stays your friend

You’ll be back, we’re sure, can’t wait to see

Next time we’re all stranded on the L.I.E!