Ballad of October 16th:
It was on a Saturday night and the moon was shining bright
They passed the conscription bill
And the people they did say for many miles away
'Twas the President and his boys on Capitol Hill.
Oh, Franklin Roosevelt told the people how he felt
We damned near believed what he said
He said, "I hate war, and so does Eleanor
But we won't be safe 'till everybody's dead."
When my poor old mother died I was sitting by her side
A-promising to war I'd never go.
But now I'm wearing khaki jeans and eating army beans
And I'm told that J. P. Morgan loves me so,
I have wandered o'er this land, a roaming working man
No clothes to wear and not much food to eat.
But now the government foots the bill
Gives me clothes and feeds me swill
Gets me shot and puts me underground six feet.
Why nothing can be wrong if it makes our country strong
We got to get tough to save democracy.
And though it may mean war
We must defend Singapore
This don't hurt you half as much as it hurts me.
Franklin D., listen to me,
You ain't a-gonna send me 'cross the sea,
'Cross the sea, 'cross the sea, You ain't a-gonna send me 'cross the sea.
You may say it's for defense,
But that kinda talk that I'm against.
I'm against, I'm against,
That kinda talk ain't got no sense.
Lafayette, we are here, we're gonna stay right over here...
Marcantonio is the best, but I wouldn't give a nickel for all the rest...
J. P. Morgan's big and plump, eighty-four inches around the rump...
Wendell Wilkie and Franklin D., seems to me they both agree,
Both agreed, both agreed,
Both agree on killin' me.
That's Pete Seeger and the Almanac Singers, from their album "Songs for John Doe." Not too many copies of the record exist, and those that do are historical curiosities, because the Almanacs had the misfortune to release it about six weeks before Hitler broke his nonaggression treaty with Stalin and invaded the Soviet Union.
Immediately, the Almanacs, good Communists all, pulled the record, destroyed all the copies they could, and went back to the studio where they started recording pro-war tracks:
Now, I hate Hitler, and I can tell you why
He's caused lots of good folks to suffer and die
He's got a way of shovin' folks around
I figger it's about time we slapped him down.
Give him a dose of his own medicine. Lead poison!