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Protesters to Sing 'Hard Hearted' to GOP Rep Who Just Had Heart Surgery

"He's gonna make senior citizens suffer!"

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) is lucky to be alive. Six weeks ago he had heart surgery.* But despite his health issues, protesters are still planning to protest outside his office today while singing a variation of the classic song "Hard Hearted Hanna." They're upset that Hanna voted for GOP budget cuts.

In case you're wondering, this is what the original song, sung by Ella Fitzgerald, sounds like:

National Journal has uncovered a draft of the new lyrics the protesters plan to sing:

His name is Hard-Hearted Hanna,

He ain't no Pollyanna,

He's the meanest man in town!

His talk is tough, but his budget cuts are rougher

He's gonna make senior citizens suffer!

“It’s been six weeks since Representative Hanna underwent a successful heart surgery, so I’d say the song choice is in poor taste,” Hanna spokeswoman Renee Gamela told National Journal. “But he nonetheless appreciates lively public engagement on these issues.”

But organizers are not backing down:

Mary Clark, a regional organizer for CitizenActionNY.org, which has been handling local organization of the event, said the song is about Hanna’s “hard heartedness” toward seniors, children, and the disabled.

“Many of our seniors are into theater, and they thought of this. We’ve just changed the lyrics a bit,” she said.


Clark said organizers see no reason to change their tune. Quite the opposite, in fact. Along with the song, the events targeting Hanna include a skit. As many as 40 people are expected to take part in the events.

Clark said Hanna’s personal health problems did not deter him from returning to Washington and voting for cuts that hurt seniors and children, including House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, which was passed before Congress left on its two-week break.

The organized protests are expected to be a national event. They're uniting under the mantra, “Don’t Make Us Work ‘Til We Die,” and other protest ideas include activists dressing as zombies at the office of Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL). House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is also expected to be a target.

*An earlier version of this story said Hanna underwent a heart transplant. In actuality, it was heart surgery. The title has been corrected to reflect the change.

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