Category Archives: “Rob Roper”

A MADDman’s Dream (Poem)

The current Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is not a mother, or even a woman, but a man named William Windsor.

“The founding president of MADD, Candy Lightner, left in disgust from the organization that she herself created because of its change in goals. ‘It has become far more neo-prohibitionist than I ever wanted or envisioned,’ she says. ‘I didn’t start MADD to deal with alcohol. I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving.’… Mothers Against Drunk Driving has clearly become not simply anti-drunk driving or even anti-impaired driving, but anti-alcohol.”

From the website Mothers Against Drunk Driving: A Crash Course in MADD by David J. Hanson, Ph.D.

A Maddman’s Dream
by Rob Roper   July 31, 2014

With your mercenary army
of lawyers and judges
cops and clerks
parole officers and counselors
politicians and breathalyzer companies
The enemy has been conquered
The nations put in their place
The ruins at your feet

A religious state
sober drones hard at work
The jails are full, the bars are empty
The brewmaster and winemaker’s craft a lost art
the restaurants serve diet soda
The Devil’s juice replaced by cancer juice

You push people off the grid
productive workers now criminals
the creative class driven underground
Logic and Reason nowhere in sight
the Policeman’s word is Law
a fascist nightmare

You show pictures of little Suzie
killed by a drunk driver
but according to your own statistics
75% of all accidents are caused by sober drivers
But you don’t care about their victims
do you?

And what about your victims?
Breadwinners thrown in jail
Fired from their jobs
Shamed and disgraced
Lives destroyed
Shattered Families
What about all those little Suzies
whose moms and dads got DUIs
went to jail
lost their jobs
and committed suicide?

You lowered the BAC limit
from .12 to .10 to .08
and now .05 in Colorado
Two drinks and you’re a criminal.

DUI roadblocks
Unreasonable searches and seizures
Civil liberties crushed
under the MADDman’s boot.

Arresting people for sleeping in their cars rather than drive drunk!
or waiting for a cab!
riding a bike!
for doing the right thing!
Obviously this isn’t about public safety, is it?
This is about money
money for the DUI Industry
and for your neo-prohibitionist political agenda:
bringing back prohibition
one step at a time.

Heart disease kills more Americans than any other cause of death.
Studies show that moderate wine consumption
drastically reduces the chances of heart disease.
But you want to jail me for having two glasses of wine with dinner.

You raise the drinking age from 18 to 21
Old enough to vote
Old enough to be tried as a adult for a crime
Old enough to join the army
You can get your legs blown off in Iraq or Afghanistan
but you can’t have a beer
Brother soldier!  Sister soldier!
You should be fighting the Taliban at home!

First they came for the drunk drivers
and I did nothing
because I don’t drive drunk.
Then they came for the 18-to-20 year-olds
and I did nothing
because I was over 21.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to defend me.

The world is not a better place.

Disconnected (new song)

© Rob Roper  2014

I went for a walk
just to sort things out
but the trees weren’t talking
and the robins wouldn’t sing
Feeling disconnected
memories washed away
There’s nothing left here
I got no reason to stay.

They say dreams are for fools
so pour me a dream
There’s a strange feeling
crawling up my skin
Like a lake in a desert
I’m probably chasing a mirage
But I won’t let them put a ceiling
A ceiling on my thoughts.

Walking the edge between
destitute and free
Let the consequences
be what they be

Get in the basket
cut the rope on the balloon
and I’ll meet you on
meet you on
the southside of the moon.

Notes from “The Screwup Song”

This is one of my most popular songs. I began writing it in October 2005. It started with the melody. I went jogging, and got this Irish folksong melody in my head. (I was a big fan of The Dubliners). Then came the words “here’s to”. I had to figure out, what are we drinking to? Being me, I never want to go mainstream, so obviously we can’t drink to success or love or happiness or any of that stuff. I’m a contrarian. So I thought, let’s drink to mistakes. I went home and started making notes. Here’s page 1. Note what I underlined. I quickly decided: this is a song about forgiving yourself. A friend of mine emailed me today to say that the song brought him to tears. Most people think it’s just a funny song or a drinking song. That’s only on the surface. This guy got it.


Sea of Hope

When I was at the Lyons, Colorado Song School last August, I was at my camp, noodling around on my guitar in a tuning I learned from Beth Wood. It’s DADGCE. I came up with a rhythm and riff in the key of C that I liked, and The Muse sent me this line, “Sailing on a Sea of Hope”. But C wasn’t good for my voice, G was better, so as much as I loved the tuning, I decided I had to ditch it and go back to standard tuning. But here’s a lesson I’ve learned: sometimes using a new tuning can give you a song idea that you never would have gotten otherwise, even if you go back to another tuning to finish it.

I wrote the chorus first, and then pillaged an unfinished song from 2005 for some verse lyrics. Another lesson learned: don’t be upset about unfinished songs. Maybe they weren’t meant to be finished. Put them in the song junkyard and use them for spare parts for other songs.

I don’t know if it’s done yet. It’s a first draft. I’ll probably tweak the melody and chords a little more, maybe some of the lyrics. I’ll record a rough version and put it up on Here’s the lyrics as they stand now.

Sea of Hope
by Rob Roper 1st Draft December 31, 2009

Mistakes are necessary
so I’m gonna make some
This life of comfort is
a life of boredom
The radio plays
the same old songs
I’ve got to do something
even if it’s wrong

Sailing on a sea of hope
Bailing out this leaky boat
Set the sail, catch the wind
Won’t be coming back here again
Won’t be back here again

Tired of living
in the slow lane
Tired of saying
another wasted day
Everybody says
“You’ve got it made”
But even the best zoo is
still a cage


I don’t know
what I’m searching for
But I don’t care if I
ever make it to the shore