Frank Hayes Lyrics

Deep in engineering down where mortals seldom go,
A manager and customer come looking for a show.
They pass amused among us, and they sign in on the log.
They've come to see our pony and they've come to see our dog.

Three things you should be wary of,
A new kid in his prime,
A man with all the answers,
And a code that runs first time.
Summoned from our cubicles to conference room we go.
We bring our dog and pony for we know they'll want a show.
Watching as we enter with a shifty restless eye,
The customer sits waiting in his pinstripe suit and tie.

Three things never trust in,
That's the vendor's final bill,
The promises your boss makes,
And the customer's good will.

The pony kicks his heels up as the doggie does his trick,
And hands are waved with vigor as we lay it on real thick.
The customer just watches as we do this song and dance,
Then reaches for his briefcase, only giving us a glance.

Three things see no end,
A loop with exit code done wrong,
A semaphore untested,
And the change that comes along.

From briefcase then there comes a list of things we must revise,
And all but four within the room are taken by surprise,
And all but four are thinking of their last job with remorse;
The customer, the manager, the doggie, and the horse.

Three things hold no secret;
Files that somehow hit the net,
Your boss's secretary,
And the third thing I forget.

First twenty-one new features that somehow we must add in.
Then thirty-seven changes show up, much to our chagrin,
And this thing's just inadequate, and that one's just plain wrong,
And by the way, your schedule is about three months too long.

Three things it is better far that
Only you should know,
How much you're paid, the schedule pad,
And what is just for show.

The customer proceeds to go through each change line by line.
Excruciating detail which no logic can divine.
When it ends there's only four not sitting there agog;
The customer, the manager, the pony and the dog.

Three things never anger,
First the one who runs your deck,
The one who does the back-up,
And the one who signs the check.

Now we are contract software types who spend our days and nights,
Embedded in the system down with all the bits and bytes,
And none but us can tell full well the damage done today.
It's what they do not know for which they're gonna have to pay.

Three things are most perilous,
Connectors that corrode,
Unproven algorithms,
And self modifying code.

The manager and customer are quick to leave this bunch,
They take the dog and pony and they all go out to lunch.
Now how will we revenge ourselves on those who raise our ire?
Write code that self destructs the day the warranties expire.

Three things trust above all else;
Your knowledge of your craft,
That someone makes a profit,
And that you will get the shaft.

Contributed by Cameron A. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
To comment on specific lyrics, highlight them
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Comments from YouTube:


A parody of Michael Longcor's "Privateer" which in itself was a parody of "The Bonny Ship The Diamond". I love Filk music.

The Void Looks Pretty

Well that’s convoluted and I love it.

Rich Matarese

"Sixty-eight and Z-eight thousand,
And an eighty-six as well,
And code compatability
Goes straight to bloody hell!"

Ah, the Altair build-it-yourself craze.


As well as the IMSAI, Standard Spec 696 was the first real attempt at an open architecture.


"And when you turn the power on it's sure to dim the lamps, at plus and minus 16 volts and 14-hundred amps!"


so now we've got a system registry instead, which makes it all plug and play, at the price of you no longer own what you buy, the damd things can lock you out of places on your own machine. personally i'd rather set a few dip switches and own every address location and register myself. always thought intel's architecture mind bogglingly insane though.

Alex Martin

+themnax x86 is a mess. And I should know; I'm building an x86 OS. It hurts. Oh god how it hurts.


Love that you've posted Frank Hayes material. Don't suppose you have his 'Three's (Revision 1.1)' To post to share with everyone? It's incredibly hard to find ANYWHERE.

Ned Hunter

As an addendum to my previous comment, I have an idea as to why you may not have been able to find it. I'm not an expert on the subject, but I am an amateur programmer (barely, more like I dabble with it from time to time as a hobby) and I have a vague idea of how YouTube's search engine works behind the scenes. When I found the video that I posted the link to I actually thought that the song was simply called "Threes," so I put the name of the album in the search to differentiate it from the original "Threes." I suspect that the reason that "threes rev 1.1" doesn't yield that link is that the video's title calls it "Rev 1 1" instead of "Rev 1.1"

Ned Hunter

@SinisterMustache My mom had a St. Elmo's Fire tape that I heard it on the first time, so all I did was search "st elmos fire threes" and it worked. I saw this comment, and knew where to look.

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