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Barry Crimmins

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political satirist Barry Crimmins

Presidential Rag Thursday, January 17, 2008

Presidential Rag
Screwing around with computer stuff today a has led me to the uncreative side of my brain-- so I figured I'd feature some writing that has inspired me over the years. (this also lets me test out the swank new "block quote" feature of my blog.)

Arlo Guthrie wrote these lyrics about Richard Nixon way back in '74 on the album simply called "Arlo Gutrie. Needless to state,  his words are as valid as ever. In my years as a performer, this tune was often included in the house music that was played before I went on. Even more often,  I had it cranking on my headphones before I took the stage. I haven't caught Arlo perform lately but I hope he's playing Presidential Rag in concert. It's a song that still needs singing. BC

Presidential Rag
  ------Arlo Guthrie

You said you didn't know,
that the cats with the bugs were there,
and you never go along with that kind of stuff nowhere,
but that just isn't the point man,
that's the wrong, wrong way to go,
if you didn't know about that one, well then what else don't you know

You said that you were lied to,
well that ain't hard too see,
but you must have been fooled again by your friends across the sea,
and maybe you were fooled again by your people here at home,
cause nobody could talk like you,
and know what's going on

Nobody elected your family,
and we didn't elect your friends,
no one voted for your advisers,
and nobody wants amends,
You're the one we voted for, so you must take the blame,
For handing out authority to men who were insane

You say it's all fixed up now, you've got new guys on the line,
but you had better remember this while you still got the time,
mothers still are weeping for their boys that went to war,
fathers still are asking what the whole damn thing was for,
and people still are hungry and people still are poor,
an honest week of work these days don't feed the kids no more,
Schools are still like prisons,
cuz we don't learn how to live,
and everybody wants to take, nobody wants to give

Yes you will be remembered, be remembered very well,
and if I live a long life, all the stories I could tell,
of many who are in in poverty of sickness and of grief,
hell yes, you will be remembered, be remembered very well

You said you didn't know,
that the that the cats with the bugs were there,
You'd never go along with that kind of stuff nowhere
But that just isn't the point man,
That's the wrong, wrong way to go,
If you didn't know about that one,
well then what else don't you know

updated: 15 years ago