A Songwriting U.S. Attorney?
By Andrew Ramonas | September 10, 2022 12:02 pm

The Justice Department has been without a known songwriter since Attorney General John Ashcroft left five years ago. But the drought could soon be over.

Ripley Rand (Gov)

Ripley Rand, who was nominated on July 28 to be the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, contributed lyrics and back-up vocals to “Don’t Do The Math,” which was released in 2008 on “Danceable in Victor,” the second album by The Balsa Gliders, a North Carolina indie-pop band.

“He always sort of helped me ghost write lyrics from time to time,” lead singer Charles Marshall, a partner at the law firm of Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP in Raleigh, N.C., told Main Justice.

The song does not have the patriotic fervor of Ashcroft’s “Let The Eagle Soar.” Rather, the lyrics of “Don’t Do The Math” paint the picture of a girl, who resembles swimsuit model and actress Cheryl Tiegs.

Marshall said the song is “almost just a narrative about a dream sequence,” but doesn’t have any particular significance.

“I would love to tell you it had a meaning,” he said. Rand did not respond to a request for comment from Main Justice.

Marshall and Rand met in law school at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and went on to host a rock and pop music show on WXDU-Durham 88.7 FM. Rand was a disc jockey at the radio station from 1994 to 2000, according to his Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire.

Rand then aided his friend with The Balsa Gliders, which formed about a decade ago. Marshall said Rand has come into the studio for recordings, but has rarely performed live with the six-member band.

“He’s been a great friend,” Marshall said. “He’s given great assistance to the band.”

Ripley Rand, the U.S. Attorney nominee for the Middle District of North Carolina, contributed lyrics and back-up vocals to “Don’t Do The Math” on the “Danceable in Victor” album by The Balsa Gliders, an indie-pop group.

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