(Millard Lampell & Lee Hays)

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
'Was the president and his boys on Capitol Hill.

Cho: Oh, Franklin Roosevelt told the people how he felt.
We damn 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 JP Morgan loves me so.

I have wandered over 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 gotta 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.

"Ballad of October 16,"
Words by Millard Lampell & Lee Hays as the Almanac Singers.
On That's Why We're Marching, Smith/Folkways CD

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