Video: Songwriter sings his way through furloughs

By Cogan Schneier
Special to Federal News Radio

Another federal employee is turning to music to cope with the stress of sequestration. Chris Dickson wrote his song, “Furlough You”, in dedication to his furloughed friends.

“It’s a hard situation to go through,” Dickson said in an interview with Federal News Radio. “I just had twins. We had to get a van, two car seats, a stroller that has two seats, two cribs. I don’t think I could have endured that 20 percent cut. And yet these people are doing that, so why not add a little bit of cheer or joy or humor or something?”

Story continues after video.

Dickson, a life-long government employee who works with military connected families, said he wrote his song as an ode to his fellow federal workers. While Dickson has not been furloughed himself, many of his coworkers are currently enduring one-day-per-week furloughs.

Dickson is an acoustic guitarist and avid fan of CeeLo Green. He based his “Furlough You” song on CeeLo’s hit song, “Forget You.” He said the song came to him as he was joking around in a studio one day with friends.

He said the term “furlough” has serious implications, similar to another well-known “f” word. Dickson said joking about the terms for budget cuts can help get employees to relax a little.

“I’d never heard of the word sequestration before,” Dickson said. “I joke now to my coworkers. After I get a haircut, I’ll be like, ‘Yeah, I just got my hair sequestered.'”

Dickson is a father of three and lives in Northern Virginia. He says his next song may be a more uplifting rendition, titled “Pay Raise You.”

John T. Martin III, a staff member in the Army Chief Information Office/G-6, has also written a song about sequestration. Titled “Furlough Fridays,” the song is sung to the tune of “Monday, Monday” by The Mamas & the Papas.

Cogan Schneier is an intern for Federal News Radio.


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