Barrett Zinn

Barrett Zinn


Ideas in words and music, wrapped in shimmery paper. Like chocolate and peanut butter, only less cavities. Cosmic dust on on a city street. The Cheshire cat smile. Whatever.


Barrett has written over one hundred songs and recorded at least fifty demos, co-writing with artists such as Matt Katz-Bohen (guitarist for Daddy and now on tour with Blondie), Genie (Pepper) Swinson (Vocalist for the Wilson Pickett Band and others), Kirsten Thien, Anne Mironchick, and Lisa Lost. His cutting and hysterical 2004 satire of President Bush, “It’s Hard Work”, generated thousands of hits on the Huffington Post website and was heard on local news coverage in New York and Miami prior to the presidential election that year. It is still featured on Barrett’s website, His first cuts will be on upcoming records by Mironchik and Thien later this year.

Rust from musical hibernation has led Barrett to perform sparingly, but studies with Hugh Prestwood at the New School and New York music guru Ann Ruckert have led him to begin playing out and singing on his own demos. Barrett joined ASCAP and the Songwriter’s Guild of America in 2004, and was invited to join SESAC in 2007.

In 2006, Barrett enrolled in the music program at Hunter College to pursue an M.A. in Music Education. In addition to recording and performing, Barrett currently teaches music as a visiting artist in after school programs for the Brooklyn Arts Council and works as a Senior Music Counselor at Camp Hillard in Westchester County, NY. He lives with his wife and children in New York City.


It's Hard Work

Written By: Barrett Zinn

lyrics and music by Barrett Zinn

IT’S HARD WORK being the President
Especially when you are the President’s son
IT’S HARD WORK sounding that unintelligent
Getting elected by a margin of one

It was hard work handing out tax cuts
To all his millionaire oil-patch country-club chums
They mailed their donations to his coronation
He figgered he’d better give ‘em back some
IT’S HARD WORK bein’ Robin-Hood-in-reverse IT’S HARD WORK

IT’S HARD WORK cuttin’ the budget
For the levies on Lake Pontratrain
Even harder bein’ in New Orleans
And drowning in a hurricane

He is the emperor who’s got no clothes
Except that doofy grin lurkin’ underneath his nose
His face is so simian it seems sorta sub-human
Hail to the chief: Alfred E. Neuman!

IT’S HARD WORK defending Ron Dumbsfeld
Now all the generals have called him a hack
Our troops are on their third rotation, watch him take a long vacation!
He’s the decider! He decided they can’t come back!
IT’S HARD WORK being such a hard-ass
Hey America, how do you like the price of gas?

IT’S HARD WORK spying on citizens
Handing out medals to both CIA directors that failed
Soon the White House leakers and congressional speakers
Are all gonna wind up in jail
Doin’ hard time! Five and ten in Leavenworth,
Who dropped the dime on all their Hard Work? The New York Times?

Just like Nero fiddled while Rome burned
He ain’t made no mistakes, nope there’s nothing he’s learned
He thinks the Iraqi people call him their “Liberator”, well
Good Morning Teheran! Here comes your “Terminator”…


I Want to Be Like God

Written By: Barrett Zinn


God likes to fish in Maine and Wyoming
He is the all-knowing, he’s so carefree Verse I
God likes to play cards in Las Vegas
He drives a red Porsche, he’s six-foot-three

I want to be
I want to be

God likes to smoke herbs grown in Sonoma
They cure his glaucoma, they let him see
God never waits in lines at the airport
He flies his own transport, he travels free

(repeat chorus)

God never needs an alibi
He sees all with omniscient eyes
Maybe that’s why God gets high
It takes his mind off you and me
God’s really just a funny guy
He’ll trade a tooth for tooth or eye for eye
Shoot a thunderbolt down from the sky
To be unkind to you and me

God likes to have a beer with his buddies
He never studies and still gets “A”’s
At the Super Bowl God always watches
From luxury boxes and drinks champagne

(repeat chorus)

A Better Man For Me

Written By: Barrett Zinn Gross and Eugenia Swinson

You came along and raised my sprit
Filled me with colors I so needed
Then you turned and walked away
I was in shock, my world gone gray

All through the lonely nights I wandered
How’d you do what you did I pondered
As the sun arose I’d see
I was much better off now free

Lovers my come and go
When I find the one, I’ll know
The fruit is ripe on the tree
There’ll be A Better Man for Me

‘Cause I’ll find a good man, the right man
A Better Man for Me
A good man who’ll understand when we disagree
The right man who’ll stand by me faithful ‘til the end
A Better Man for Me
A Better Man for Me
A Better Man for Me my friend

When we were strong you raised my spirit
When we belonged we were so near it
Then love seemed to slip away
But it takes more spoil my day

Lovers will come and go
When I find the one, I’ll know
My future is bright you’ll see
There’ll be A Better Man for Me

(repeat chorus)

One Order of Love (No Substitutions)

Written By: Barrett Zinn Gross

I took my baby out the other night on a date
I tipped the maitre’d and we got the best seats in the place
I was checking out the menu when my baby said “Boy,
There isn’t anything on here that I want to order,”
I called my waiter over and asked him if he had a solution
He said, “Read the menu buddy, it says ‘No Substitutions.’”

We grabbed our coats and headed for the door post-haste
Still it was burning me up that my twenty-dollar tip went to waste
I was gunning the engine when my baby said, “Please,
Let’s go home, and we’ll pick up some take-out Chinese
We can just relax in the crib, and when the meal is done
We’ll get One Order of Love (No Substitutions)

One Order of Love (No Substitutions)
One Order of Love (No Substitutions)
One Order of Love, yeah, there’s no confusion when she says
One Order of Love (No Substitutions)

Now when we dine out I check the kitchen ahead of time
French, Italian or fusion
I know that for dessert she’ll be mine
When it comes to eating, my baby’s a tease
But when it comes to loving me she knows how to please
No matter where our meal begins, we end up having fun
We get One Order of Love (No Substitutions)

(repeat chorus)

No One Owns The Moon

Written By: Barrett Zinn Gross

The glacier’s retreating, the skiing’s no good
Now there’s tornados in my neighborhood
The weather is changing and we must have someone to blame
Russia put their flag beneath the North Pole
With the globe warming it won’t be that cold
We’ll swim in Speedos where polar bear cubs used to play

Low-lying islands will be swamped, before the climate changes stop
But the lunar landscape’s still as cold and dry as can be

No One Owns the Moon
No one owns the skies
No one owns the sunshine
Or the light that’s in our eyes
No One Owns the Moon
But there will come a day
When it’s up for auction on Ebay (Buy it now!)
No One Owns the Moon

Like conquistadors who sailed wooden ships
Wherever our rockets land we’ll lay claim
Our nuclear powered ray guns will scare aliens away
On the moon we’ll live under glass domes
That keep the atmosphere in our homes
Farms in the craters will cater our cosmic foray

Once more, we’ll be colonists and lunatic agronomists
Be enlightened rulers of our land

(repeat Chorus)

Mars is the next frontier in the chase
For a suitable home for humans in space
Or maybe we’ll face our problems at home
And won’t have to roam…

(repeat Chorus)


"It's Hard Work", a biting satirical commentary on The. Worst. President. Ever. has been podcast on "", featured in the Korea Broadcasting Services' prime-time magazine show, "Culture Zone", and viewed thousands of times on The Huffington Post.

Set List

I perform originals on acoustic guitar with an occasional cover, often accompanied by friends and/or co-writers

I've got dozens of tunes that rotate in and out of my set.