'Inside Llewyn Davis' Hilarious Protest Song "Please Mr. Kennedy" Must Have Been Written One of These 3 Ways
Everyone has been excited for the release of '60s folk biopic Inside Llewyn Davis , but the movie's protest song, "Please Mr. Kennedy" has us most excited of all. Sung in the movie by Justin Timberlake, Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac, it's an absurd satirization of the nonsense protest songs of the '60s and we simply can't get enough of it. It sounds like all the cool folksy music your parents probably listened to, except it makes no damn sense. And yes, the writers of the song — Timberlake, T. Bone Burnett, the Coen brothers, Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac — sat down together and worked through the style and lyrics of "Please Mr. Kennedy" in the expected, collection-of-brilliant-people way that we can picture ever so easily, but that's still somewhat disappointing.
The '60s were a wonky time, full of drugs, sex parties (YES I SAID SEX PARTIES. I think the word the young people use these days is orgies. If this is wrong and there was a lack of orgies in the '60s, no one disabuse me of the notion please), and revolution. We'd like to think coming up with a lackadaisical political anthem boils down to something more interesting than Justin Timberlake playing a fancy vintage guitar with T. Bone Burnett in a shop somewhere in California. Weirdly, that reality seems rather pedestrian when you consider that the song revolves around a man's plaintive cry that President Kennedy will be forcing him to go to space inside a teeny tiny space capsule. Trippy, right?
So here's the ways I'd have preferred this song to have come about. C'mon Hollywood, where has all the creativity gone? Get on my level ASAP.
1) They gave Adam Driver a couple hits from the bong and just left him in a room on his own for a few hours.
When they came back, the lyrics were scribbled in tomato soup on the wall, and Driver was inconsolable and muttering about space monkeys. No one even knows from where he got the tomato soup.
2) They sat down some millennials, asked them what important things happened in the '60s, and wrote a song about whatever they said.
All the millennials could think of was that JFK died and like... something happened to do with going to space? They also mentioned Austin Powers several times, but the writers of Inside Llewyn Davis made the executive decision to leave that out, as Austin Powers is merely based in the '60s, not made in the '60s. It should be noted that the aforementioned millennials only agreed to do this in the first place because they were offered a free Iphone 5.
3) The writers surveyed every raving homeless person in all of L.A and then wrote based on the most highly trending topics.
And as it turns out, the crazy homeless element of Los Angeles society had a lot of concerns about being shoved into a tiny space capsule by a dead president and being forced to orbit Earth for the rest of eternity. It was a surprising commonality, in fact.
Watch your favorite stars sing "Please Mr. Kennedy" in Inside Llewyn Davis and ponder the possibilities behind the song-writing for yourself: