IF YOU ONLY HAD A DOG – Parody of “If I Only Had a Brain”

Taking a lighter note, imagine if the president had a dog? Would that change him in some small or grand way. Would it make him nicer or even smarter? Would it make a difference what kind of dog it was? All of these questions and more are explored in this light-hearted parody. Lyrics are provided by Greg Trafidlo.


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Copyright 2019 Greg Trafidlo

You might be a better leader 

with a Labrador retriever

and not a demagogue.

Take the time to walk a Yorky,
‘cause you wouldn’t be so porky

if you only had a dog.

If a puppy on a leash meant 

you’d be further from impeachment

you’d change your monologue.

With a Collie, you’d be calmer 

than your nemesis Obama

if you only had a dog.

We prayed they had you spayed

so you might settle down
Get us off this
They’ll do it free . . . down at the pound.

In a year from next November, 

we’ll be free of your distemper

and drain the swamp you clogged.

With a Corgi like the Queen,

you just might not be so mean,

if you only had a dog.

You would not be just a nothin’
with your head all full of stuffin’
your heart all in a clog.
And perhaps you would deserve us
and even be worthy of us
if you only had a dog.

Perhaps you’d have some honor

if you raised a Weimaraner

with a better epilogue.
‘cause you just might have been nicer
to Comey, Cohen, and Spicer
if you only had a dog.

A troubleshooter would have you neutered
just to keep your feet down on the ground
Why not get yourself an Afghan Hound?
They might be free down at the pound.

Things wouldn’t be so goofy

if you were to raise a Newfy.

They’re in the catalog.

With a trusty Irish Setter,
everything would soon be better
if you only had a dog.

You might be tender, even gentle
and maybe sentimental
not in a hazy fog.
Not attacking other nations
but improving our relations
if you only had a dog.

If only we could make you see
how badly you expound,
we could fix it with a Basset Hound.
And once again, they’re at the pound.

You might be a better leader
with a Labrador Retriever,
and not a demagogue.
And the world would be merrier,

so befriend a Boston Terrier.

Please go get yourself a dog.


“If I Only Had a Brain” (also “If I Only Had a Heart” and “If I Only Had the Nerve”) is a song by Harold Arlen (music) and Yip Harburg (lyrics). The song is sung in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz by the character Scarecrow, played by Ray Bolger.

Originally written by Arlen and Harburg as “I’m Hanging On To You” for the 1937 Broadway musical Hooray for What!, the song was ultimately dropped from that show, and when the pair was later hired to do the songs for Oz, Harburg simply wrote new lyrics to the tune.

The Scarecrow’s version of the song is sung about getting a brain. The original recording included an extravagant Busby Berkeley-choreographed dance routine, but this was eventually cut for length reasons. A closing vocal stanza was likewise cut. Both pieces still exist and are available for viewing.

Ray Bolger’s original recording of the song was far more sedate compared to the version heard in the film; it was decided by the producers that a more energetic rendition would better suit Dorothy’s initial meeting with the Scarecrow, and was re-recorded as such. Thought to be lost for over seven decades, a recording of this original version was discovered in 2009.

Harry Connick, Jr. recorded “If I Only Had a Brain” for his 1988 album 20. This song was also covered by alternative rock band The Flaming Lips for the soundtrack to the video game Stubbs the Zombie. Dave Matthews Band often interpolates this into the song Bartender, near the end.

Rick DePiro, organist in the 1980s for the Cleveland Indians, used “If I Only Had a Brain” often to poke fun at umpires when they were thought to make a bad call. In 2007, New Orleans songwriter Paul Sanchez recorded the song for the children’s album, Funky Kidz. The song is also featured in an ad for GE that first aired during Super Bowl XLIII.

Additionally, The Four Freshmen have recorded a version of the song, with Brian Eichenberger, who wrote the arrangement, soloing in the spirit of the Scarecrow. Jeremy Little also recorded an acoustic version of the song, which was featured on the Fox television series Fringe, at the end of the episode “The Firefly.”

The song is also included as a kind of Easter Egg on iOS devices with Siri. When asking Siri to “sing me a song”, Siri will occasionally sing the first few lines of this song.

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8 Responses

  1. Berthina Foland

    Every one of your parodies is so on point.
    I love them all! And, I see you are a Washington state guy, too.

  2. admin

    Thanks, Katherine, so glad it made you smile!

  3. Jan Chaffee

    Great! Maybe more people will be inspired to visit their local humane society.Love the dogs!!!!

  4. David

    Wonderful. So originally brilliant. Thanks so much.

  5. Katherine Lake

    Lovely and lighthearted! I was smiling all the way through. Thank you, Don! This is not a duplicate comment.

  6. Katherine Lake

    Lovely and lighthearted! I was smiling all the way through. Thank you, Don!