When the word came down, no one knew what to make of it at first.
Once the third millennium started, there weren't to be any more murders.
"Nobody's to kill anybody after January first," was the precise wording.
It was hard to believe that this was to be taken completely literally.
If so, it was immediately clear that the social changes might be profound.
The military took some time to get the whole concept straight.
"But if they're trying to kill *us*, then we'll have to kill *them*!"
And for quite a while they couldn't seem to realize that as soon
As the new century started, no one *would* be trying to kill us,
So to kill them in retaliation or in advance would become quite irrational.
The mobsters and gangsters weren't exactly thrilled by the new rule,
But they tended to be pragmatists anyway, so they rather quickly
Started to work out ways they could get what they wanted other ways,
Now that killing for it was to be counted right out. I hate to say
That there was a high rate of settling of scores ahead of time.
There was a little bit of confusion over capital punishment.
Obviously after January 1st there wouldn't be any more murderers,
While before January 1st they could still be executed.
But was a 20th century killer to escape with his life
Just because the 21st century arrived in time? It seemed so.
A lot of people got hot under the collar about abortion.
It wouldn't be certain until the new century began
Whether this activity was to count as killing or not,
But with the mere possibility that it might be included
The incidence of unwanted pregnancy went way down.
Some people offed themselves early, rather than risk the chance
That suicide might count as killing. Anyway, if it did,
One couldn't help a suicide, but on the other hand,
Even if suicide wasn't killing, helping still might be.
Just what would be counted must unfold with the new year.
Well, like it or not, the law is the law,
So with the millennium, we all have stopped killing.
And with pros and with cons, and a touch of nostalgia,
We pretty well feel that it's been so successful,
We've decided *next* century, we all will quit stealing.