Originally created 12/08/00

Melody adds humor to political situation



JACKSON - Iris Harden has added a touch of Southern humor to a situation political stalwarts don't find so funny.

She has put into words weeks of watching national news reports from her living room recliner concerning America's presidential predicament.She also brings up the fact that, 31 days after the election, neither candidate can measure for curtains to hang in the White House.

Ms. Harden might be the only woman in Aiken County who wants the guessing game to keep going - at least until she makes money on the song she co-wrote with Tommy Lee Brooks, a country crooner from Grovetown. She says it took her 10 minutes to come up with the words to Who Is Our President? The song has a message that goes something like this, "I really don't care who wins the election; I just want it to be fair."

Fox News gave Ms. Harden, 48, her big break without notice during the morning news hour last week. She remembers hearing her song while fighting fitful sleep in an easy chair.

"I just figured my mom had popped the tape in the cassette player and was listening to it," she said. "I had no idea they were playing (our) song on TV."

Before she could sit up, the show's producer called to say someone would be interviewing her on the air. Since then, ABC, NBC and radio stations in Washington have played the home-grown harmony.

"I just hope it goes on and on so they'll keep playing my song," Ms. Harden said. "I've been writing for a long time and dreaming of this moment even longer."

Her life could be a country song, too, one that tells of a woman fighting a rare bone disease who has run out of money to fight it. She has applied for disability but hasn't gotten it. Right now, she's living on faith and $100 a week in a singlewide mobile home. Her only income is alimony her ex-husband is court-ordered to pay.

"I hope to eventually make some money off it," she said, "but if not, I'm not worried about it. I wrote the song to add a touch of humor to the situation. It's not that often that you get to write about something that affects the whole world."

Bunnie Mills, who sings the song for Greenback Records, has sent a copy of the just-released compact disc to President Clinton, and Ms. Hardin says Al Gore has heard it, too.

What she won't say is who she would've voted for if she could have. She said she tried standing in line at a poll site, but after awhile, it was just too painful.

"Let's just keep that a secret," she said.

Reach Chasiti Kirkland at (803) 279-6895.

For more information about the compact disc Who Is Our President? call Greenback Records in Bossier City, La., at (318) 742-5777.