Friday, April 28, 2017

Billboard Top Ten List: The Future Interest of My Heart

Last week, my good friend, brilliant colleague, and property law scholar extraordinaire, Jim Gordley (Tulane), told me that he had been on a road trip  and listened to a good deal of country music.  In the course of listening to a series of country songs, Jim decided that country music was about two things:  love and breaking the law.  Being from the south and having listened to my fair share of country music, I have to admit that Jim is right.  Just listen to Friends in Low Places, Achy-Breaky Heart, Before He Cheats, Folsom Prison Blues, and Ol' Red and you can see for yourself.  Sure, there are some other songs about dogs and beer, but those are really in the minority.  Most country music is about love and the law.  

Given this discovery about country music, Jim decided to write his own country love song about the law.  Property law, that is.  With Jim's permission, I share his song with you.  It may not make the Billboard's Top Ten list, but it had my property law class rolling on the floor with laughter, all the while reinforcing some exciting possessory and future estate rules.

My heart is in the country
But I went to train my brain
Way down the Mississippi
To a law school called Tulane.
The law's a jealous mistress
But my heart is ever true.
A'tremblin' with passion
I sing these words to you.
Take all my love in life estate,
Remainder to your heirs.
It breaks the rule in Shelly's case
But darlin' no one cares.
I'll let no interest spring, or shift,
The love that I impart.
And no adverse possessor
Will ever claim my heart.
I assign and convey to you
That unencumbered heart
With one restrictive covenant
That we shall never part,
And this condition subsequent
That if you let it break,
Then I in my discretion
May reenter and retake.

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