Take Away Your Billion Dollars, by Arthur Roberts

1. Upon the lawns of Washington the physicists assemble,
From all the land are men at hand, their wisdom to exchange.
A great man stands to speak, and with applause the rafters tremble.
"My friends," says he, "you all can see that physics now must change.
Now in my lab we had our plans, but these we'll now expand,
Research right now is useless, we have come to understand.
We now propose constructing at an ancient Army base,
The best electronuclear machine in any place, -- Oh

2. It will cost a billion dollars, ten billion volts 'twill give,
It will take five thousand scholars seven years to make it live.
All the generals approve it, all the money's now in hand,
And to help advance our program, teaching students now we've banned.
We have chartered transportation, we'll provide a weekly dance,
Our motto's integration, there is nothing left to chance.
This machine is just a model for a bigger one, of course,
That's the future road for physics, as I hope you'll all endorse."

3. And as the halls with cheers resound and praises fill the air,
One single man remains aloof and silent in his chair.
And when the room is quiet and the crowd has ceased to cheer,
He rises up and thunders forth an answer loud and clear.
"It seems that I'm a failure, just a piddling dilettante,
Within six months a mere ten thousand bucks is all I've spent.
With love and string and sealing wax was physics kept alive,
Let not the wealth of Midas hide the goal for which we strive. --Oh

4. "Take away your billion dollars, take away your tainted gold,
You can keep your damn ten billion volts, my soul will not be sold.
Take away your army generals; their kiss is death, I'm sure.
Everything I build is mine, and every volt I make is pure.
Take away your integration; let us learn and let us teach,
Oh, beware this epidemic Berkelitis, I beseech.
Oh, dammit! Engineering isn't physics, is that plain?
Take, oh take, your billion dollars, let's be physicists again."