A new song likens D.C.’s beleaguered streetcar to a cartoon boondoggle of TV legend: The Simpsons’ Springfield Monorail.
It comes courtesy of Express writer Sadie Dingfelder, composer of the “Silver Line” song and other must-watch transit videos, like this guy in a hospital gown doing push-ups on a Metro platform.
The song flawlessly parallels the streetcar — whose anticipated opening is in a persistent state of flux — and the Springfield Monorail, an ambitious public works project that ends up being a faulty, $2 million drain on the fictional town.
The real picture, as you may know, is much darker.
In the video, former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty (dubbed over the parts of a wily salesman) proposes the streetcar to an auditorium full of enthusiastic residents. “It’s more of a Baltimore idea,” he says at first, stoking their jealousy. When they finally learn what he’s proposing, they have some concerns.
“I hear those things hurt bike commuters,” one resident says. “They’re a bunch of hippie losers,” the salesman replies.
“Will my car be in the way?” another asks. “Yes it will, but that’s OK,” the salesman says.
By the end, everyone’s on board except the town’s lone voice of reason, Marge Simpson, who asks “Shouldn’t it have a dedicated lane?”
Dingfelder, 36, covers the arts, fine art and music for Express. She’s a part-time fiddle player who says she played the melody on a keyboard and called up a few friends to help with the voiceovers.
She had been sitting on the idea for a while, she said, but was waiting for the right moment to release the song. It was announced last week that the streetcar wouldn’t open this year, as has been anticipated.
There’s one key difference between Springfield and D.C., Dingfelder said. She doesn’t see the D.C. streetcar as a scam so much as a mismanaged city project.
“Everyone’s doing their best,” she said. “Their best just isn’t very good.”
There is, however, some personal resentment that may have inspired the lyrics.
“I had been sort of a generic fan of the streetcar until my boyfriend fractured his wrist riding over the tracks.”
In the video, such paltry concerns as safety are drowned out by the residents, who sing in unison:
“Streetcar! Streetcar! Streetcar!”