An Eveleth native who loaded out gear on many a winter night with Romantica and other Twin Cities bands, Luke Jacobs may have grown soft about cold weather after almost a decade of living in Austin, Texas. But he's still a good authority to give U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz a hard time over his reaction — or lack thereof — to Texas's deadly freeze last week.
Jacobs wrote and recorded a new song and video over the weekend while stuck in the icy lockdown called "Cancun," and as you can probably guess by the title it was inspired by Cruz's now-notorious quick getaway to the beaches of Mexico while millions of his constituents were stuck without power and running water in freezing conditions last week.
"Would it be such a sin to leave the state that you're in / And take a first-class flight with a tonic and gin," Jacobs sings over beachy, boozy scenery in the viral-teetering YouTube clip posted Monday morning.
With his singer/songwriter/violinist wife Carrie Rodriguez bowing and singing along — her fiddle solo humorously gives him time to warm his cold hands in the video — Jacobs roasts Cruz over a light, sunny, "Kokomo"-style melody whose sweetness only adds to the shade in the song.
Other lyrics include: "No talk of power grids / You can take the kids down in Cancun / Trade the snow and the slush for a toilet to flush down in Cancun."
And: "I mean your job is the best / And this may be a test / But you're out of food and you deserve a rest / leave it to H.E.B. and A.O.C. down in Cancun."
Reached amid the Monday thaw — he and Rodriguez were "extremely fortunate" to be in an old East Austin neighborhood largely saved from the power and water outages, he said — Jacobs explained that the song came out rather unexpectedly, but not so surprisingly. The couple has been posting new tunes and performance clips from home regularly during the pandemic in their "A Song for You" series.
"I honestly didn't wake up and think, 'Today, I'm going to write a song about Ted Cruz,' but I started playing guitar and the words just spilled out," Jacobs said. He said the general lack of "political accountability" in Texas is what mainly inspired the song — including a similar Mexico vacation that made headlines last year for Austin Mayor Steve Adler, a Democrat.
"This 'Do as I say, not as I do' thing is a total bummer. And leaving your state as an elected official during a statewide crisis is completely dumbfounding. I really don't understand it."
Nothing like a good song to try to make sense of it all.
Chris Riemenschneider • 612-673-4658