The latest step in the ongoing battle to save the St. Mark's Bookshop comes in musical form, as the Cooper Square Community Development Committee and Businessman’s Association vows to inaugurate incoming Cooper Union president Jamshed Bharucha with a lovely little ditty this afternoon.

In a note published by EV Grieve, the Committee writes:

New York, NY: St. Mark’s Bookshop, one of a few remaining independent bookstores in New York City, is in a state of crisis. It has appealed to their landlord, Cooper Union, to reduce their monthly rent of $20,000 by $5,000 until it is able to recover from the effects of the downturn in the economy. A combination of the difficult economy, the dramatic changes in the publishing industry and the escalating costs of doing business have pushed St. Mark’s Bookshop to the brink. Cooper Union has indicated that it is looking into this matter, but no commitment has yet been made.

On Tuesday, October 18th, at 12 noon, Jamshed Bharucha, will be inaugurated as the new President of Cooper Union. We will be singing and handing out an open letter to invitees as they enter the Great Hall. Let’s raise our voices together in song and ask those in power at Cooper Union to do the right thing and agree to the rent reduction before it’s too late - so that this vital landmark, which serves the diverse community of the Lower East Side, is not forced out of business!

(Sung to the tune of "Home on the Range," lyrics by Frances Goldin)

“Oh give me the word
That we long to be heard
That the St. Mark’s Bookshop will be saved.

That you know it’s a gem
With a stroke of your pen
That its’ future’s forever engraved.

LONG LIFE TO ST. MARK’S
IT WILL NOT BE FED TO THE SHARKS
It just needs less rent
And if that’s your intent
You will most likely earn
Real High Marks.

We called up Bob Contant at the Bookshop, who told us that the store is not directly involved with the demonstration, but that they appreciate the help. "This is just our neighborhood continuing to support us in ways that they see fit," he said. As for the store's ongoing negotiations with Cooper Union, Contant maintains that he is expecting to hear from the Union by the end of this month.