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Origins: 1960's anti-war song

DigiTrad:
FEEL LIKE I'M FIXIN' TO DIE RAG


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GUEST,Kristine 03 Sep 05 - 01:01 PM
Joe Offer 03 Sep 05 - 01:40 PM
GUEST,boredomdawg 03 Sep 05 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,Cattail (No cookie) 03 Sep 05 - 03:50 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 04 Sep 05 - 12:04 AM
bobad 04 Sep 05 - 12:17 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 04 Sep 05 - 12:34 AM
GUEST,Texas 04 Sep 05 - 12:56 AM
Peace 04 Sep 05 - 12:59 AM
Peace 04 Sep 05 - 01:43 AM
Peace 04 Sep 05 - 01:45 AM
Peace 04 Sep 05 - 01:51 AM
GUEST,Tired Old Hippie 04 Sep 05 - 03:28 PM
Mark Cohen 04 Sep 05 - 07:43 PM
pdq 04 Sep 05 - 08:00 PM
GUEST 04 Sep 05 - 08:33 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 04 Sep 05 - 09:21 PM
Peace 05 Sep 05 - 02:43 AM
Richard Bridge 05 Sep 05 - 04:21 AM
GUEST,Kristine 05 Sep 05 - 02:56 PM
katlaughing 05 Sep 05 - 07:34 PM
Charley Noble 05 Sep 05 - 08:07 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Sep 05 - 08:38 PM
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Subject: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: GUEST,Kristine
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 01:01 PM

Okay all of you ex-hippies, my son has a school assignment where he needs an American song that expresses, either indirectly or directly, some major or minor theme of American life, culture, history, or literarture.

You may have way better suggestions (there are millions to choose from)...but the song that came immediately to my mind was one that I heard as a little girl in the 60's. I don't know the name, I don't know the band,I don't know all the lyrics, but I remember the first few lines, which go like this:

Give me an F.....F
Give me an I.....I
Give me an S.....S
Give me an H.....H

What's that spell? ....Fish
What's that spell? ....Fish
What's that spell? ....Fish
What's that spell? ....Fish

Come on all you big strong men
Uncle Sam needs your help again
Got himself in a terrible Jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam
123...what are we fightin for?
ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopie we're all gonna die.


...I'm hoping the rest of the lyrics give more outline of the history around the situation, and like I said, you may have better suggestions, however I am curious at least who performed this song.

Thanks for your help.
Kristine


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 01:40 PM

Somebody probably already beat me to it. Country Joe McDonald and the Fish, "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag." (click). They called it the "Fish Cheer," but I don't think I ever heard them spell it F-I-S-H. I listened to the FM stations. Maybe they had a different version for AM.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: GUEST,boredomdawg
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 03:19 PM

I remember that song too and it's about as short on content as most of them.


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: I FEEL LIKE I'M FIXIN' TO DIE RAG
From: GUEST,Cattail (No cookie)
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 03:50 PM

Hi Kristine.

The lyric I have, (culled from some site or other) are these.



FEEL LIKE I'M FIXIN TO DIE RAG^^^
Country Joe McDonald & the Fish


D7
Come on all of you big strong men
G
Uncle Sam needs your help again
         D7
he's got himself in a terrible jam
G
way down yonder in Viet Nam so
E7                               A7
put down your books and pick up a gun we're
D7                             G
gonna have a whole lotta fun


CHORUS
        D/E         D/F      D/F#                  G
And it's one,    two,   three, what are we fighting for
                D7                                     G
don't ask me I don't give a damn, next stop is Viet Nam
        D/E       D/F       D/F#                G
And it's five,    six,    seven, open up the pearly gates
E7                 A7                   D7                              G
ain't no time to wonder why, whoopee we're all gonna die

come on generals, let's move fast
your big chance has come at last
now you can go out and get those reds
cos the only good commie is the one that's dead
and you know that peace can only be won when we've
blown 'em all to kingdom come


Come on wall street don't be slow
why man this war is a go-go
there's plenty good money to be made by
supplying the army with the tools of its trade
let's hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
they drop it on the Viet Cong

come on mothers throughout the land
pack your boys off to Viet Nam
come on fathers don't hesitate
send your sons off before it's too late
and you can be the first ones on your block
to have your boy come home in a box^^^


Cheers

Cattail !


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 12:04 AM

We have a litter of "sick puppys" hanging aroung this joint lately.

MOM - Back OFF!!!!

Calm down - breath deep - recognize that their ARE not (millions to choose from),but perhaps a couple hundred.

(junior's paper should not promote an LSD flashback in the parent's mind.)

Give the kid some room - you are still acting the part of some, kewl, wanna groove, 60's chick....sorry to be the one say...BUTT....The World has moved..... one or thirteen squares past YOUR percieved reality.

Permit the child to research, on his own, and write on his own....and his selections will probably be a better mirror of the reality of the time....than your twisted "wanna-be" nirvana.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: bobad
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 12:17 AM

Cut mom some slack Mr. Gar Goyle, in some circles this is regarded as history.

The daughter of a good friend of mine is doing a master's degree in American social and cultural history of the 1950's and 60's and yes the music of C.J. and the Fish, Greatful Dead, Jefferson Airplane etc. is part of the curriculum.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 12:34 AM

Sheeeessshhhhh...."Academic Rigor?"

Next thing you know Hispanics will be receiving university degrees in "Latino Studies" and spreading the Socialist agenda into the minds of middle-schools.

No wonder, American is near third-world in Math scores.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: GUEST,Texas
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 12:56 AM

How about Phil Ochs "I Ain't A Marchin' Anymore" or Arolo Guthrie's
"Alice's Restaurant" ? Huh ?


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: Peace
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 12:59 AM

Masters of War (Dylan)
Hard Rain (Dylan)
Universal Soldier (Buffy St Marie)


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Subject: Lyr Add: LUANG PRABANG (Dave Van Ronk)
From: Peace
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 01:43 AM

LUANG PRABANG

When I came back from Luang Prabang
I didn't have a thing where my balls used to hang,
But I got a wood medal and a fine harangue.
Now I'm a fucking hero.

Mourn your dead land of the free!
If you want to be a hero follow me.
Mourn your dead land of the free!
If you want to be a hero follow me.
And now the boys all envy me:
I fought for Christian Democracy
With nothing but air where my balls used to be.
Now I'm a fucking hero

Mourn your dead land of the free!
If you want to be a hero follow me.
Mourn your dead land of the free!
If you want to be a hero follow me.
When one and twenty cannon thunder
Into the bloody wild blue yonder
For a patriotic ball-less wonder.
Now I'm a fucking hero.

Mourn your dead land of the free!
If you want to be a hero follow me.
Mourn your dead land of the free!
If you want to be a hero follow me.
In Luang Prabang there is a spot
Where the corpses of your brothers rot,
And every corpse is a patriot,
And every corpse is a hero.

Mourn your dead land of the free!
If you want to be a hero follow me.
Mourn your dead land of the free!
If you want to be a hero follow me.

-- Dave Van Ronk
"An imperialist love song,
also a protest against
wimpy anti-war songs."


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: Peace
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 01:45 AM

here.
MP3 to give an idea of the melody. Pat sings it. However, there is an error on it and it loops back on itself--like the skip in an old vinyl record.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: Peace
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 01:51 AM

Just read further and the MP3s are for 30 seconds. It is a John Mehlberg site.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: GUEST,Tired Old Hippie
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 03:28 PM

One of the things to remember about the Fish Cheer is that Country Joe MacDonald was a Vietnam veteran.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 07:43 PM

As I recall, it went,

Gimme an F...gimme an I...gimme an S...gimme an H...
What's that spell? FISH!
What's that spell? FISH!
What's that smell? FISH!


followed by the opening riff of the song.

(By the way, does that little 3-line musical riff have a name or a source? It's been used in so many settings, especially the last 6-note line, which was used all the time on Laugh-In among many others.)

And I believe it was at Woodstock that they did the cheer using a different 4-letter word starting with F.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: pdq
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 08:00 PM

The anti-war movement and the affiliation with anti-war folk singers started way before the Viet Nam War. Dylan's "Masters of War" was written in 1962 when we were in a period of relative peace. It cannot be an anti-Viet Nam War song.

"Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die" is.

Also, Joe MacDonald was in the Marines in the 1958-60 vicinity and is not a Viet Nam War vetran. Jimi Hendrix was.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 08:33 PM

Let the kid do his own homework, ma. You're crippling him! You already went to high school!


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 09:21 PM

I saw Country Joe at a concert once that was being taped for broadcast. He started the "Bleep" cheer - give me a B, give me an L, give me an E...etc. When the final letter was shouted out, he asked "What's that spell" and the audience roared "FUCK".   He franctically started shaking his hands and tried it again "What's that spell" and the crowd again roared "FUCK".   I don't think the station every broadcast it.

Country Joe was discharged from the Navy in 1960. I don't believe he was ever in Vietnam, but he has done an incredible job of fighting for Vietnam Veterans since the war.   Country Joe helped bring to light issues that would have been neglected by many of the counter-culture.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: Peace
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 02:43 AM

"Dylan's "Masters of War" was written in 1962 when we were in a period of relative peace. It cannot be an anti-Viet Nam War song."

Sorry. Thought it was anti-war songs in general that were sung in that era.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 04:21 AM

Another nice one was "Eve of Destruction".

So many of them are returning to relevance now.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: GUEST,Kristine
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 02:56 PM

Has anyone else been having problems getting on the Mudcat site? I have been trying for days, and it gets stuck loading up.

Anyway, I want to thank you all for your insights, suggestions, and opinions. Now that I see all the lyrics, I'm not sure the song completely qualifies for what he's looking for.

As far as me doing his homework concerns...he is also looking for songs, and will ultimately choose what song he wants to work with. Finding the song is just the tip of the iceberg where this assignment is concerned...and I assure you he'll be doing all the rest.

When I do my own assignments, I use all the resources I have which includes the people I know. If he wants me to brainstorm with him about songs I might know that have historical, cultural content - then I don't see the harm in that.

I also disagree with the criticism on the assignment itself. Much of history and culture can be learned from songs...during medieval times it was the bards that carried the news. So what is so wrong about studying American history through the songs that have been created. The way the media hides much of the truth - I would say hearing peoples personal perspectives through songs is a good way to get another side of the picture.

Thanks again,
Kristine


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 07:34 PM

Well-said, Kristine. Pay no attention to garg...he thinks it's his job to be nasty and nonsensical.

For some excellent reading and incredible we-were-there research, take a look at this thread: Songs about Vietnam War. In particular, there is a piece written by Big Mick on 27 Feb 99 - 09:20 AM which a lot of us believe should be mandatory reading for all high school/college students.

Also, if you put "Viet" in the empty box at the top of the thread titles, then use the drop down menu box and set the date to "All" you will find many more threads of interest on the subject.

Good for you for being a resource for your son.

kat


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 08:07 PM

I think it was the summer of 1967 that I came back from the Peace Corps in Ethiopia to attempt to convince my draft board that I be granted a 3rd year extension of my tour. I had no luck convincing my draft board on the merits of serving my country for a 3rd year in the Peace Corps but I lucked out because of chronic amoebic dysentary and managed to get back to Ethiopia on a medicak deferment.

One of the songs I brought back was Country Joe's "Fixing to Die Rag" which my friends back in Ethiopia really appreciated, along with "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Maybe you had to have been there, staring up at the ceiling of my conical bamboo house, the central post with its rafters extending out like umbrella struts, with the tape player playing back the latest hits for your friends from a faraway place called the United States.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins: 1960's anti-war song
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 08:38 PM

Mudcat does have some problems from time to time. If you can get in elsewhere on the net - it's not you - just try again later.


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