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Lyr Req: What a Friend We Have in Congress

DigiTrad:
WHAT A FRIEND WE HAS IN RHODA!
WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN CHEESES
WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN HOOVER
WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS


Related threads:
Lyr Req: What a Friend We Have in Jesus (parodies) (15)
What a Friend We Have in Maggie? (19)
Lyr Add: What A Friend We Have In Johnny (15)
Lyr Add: What a Friend We Have in Cheeses (4)
Help: Pete Kleinow / 'What a Friend We Have..' (12)
Lyr Req: What a Friend we have in Jesus (4)


dick greenhaus 10 Aug 04 - 02:17 PM
Jim Dixon 12 Aug 04 - 09:07 AM
dick greenhaus 12 Aug 04 - 11:33 AM
Mark Ross 13 Aug 04 - 09:58 AM
GUEST 14 Apr 09 - 04:53 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 14 Apr 09 - 06:48 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 14 Apr 09 - 06:54 AM
GUEST 14 Apr 09 - 08:27 AM
Mark Ross 14 Apr 09 - 12:18 PM
dick greenhaus 14 Apr 09 - 01:00 PM
beardedbruce 14 Apr 09 - 01:17 PM
Mark Ross 14 Apr 09 - 01:28 PM
Jason Xion Wang 25 Sep 09 - 10:43 PM
kendall 25 Sep 09 - 11:12 PM
Jim Dixon 28 Sep 09 - 09:25 AM
Jim Dixon 28 Sep 09 - 09:53 AM
Jason Xion Wang 29 Sep 09 - 10:20 AM
Don Firth 29 Sep 09 - 02:16 PM
Jim Dixon 31 Jan 12 - 08:18 PM
Mike in Brunswick 31 Jan 12 - 11:02 PM
dick greenhaus 01 Feb 12 - 04:24 PM
Jason Xion Wang 09 Sep 14 - 06:08 AM
Mark Ross 09 Sep 14 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,Tuvya - email to Joe Offer 12 May 18 - 11:11 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: What a Friend We Have in Congress
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Aug 04 - 02:17 PM

Hi-
Some time ago, Everett Dirksen (yes, him) sang (or recited) this before Congress. Does anyone have the words?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What a Friend We Have in Congress
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 09:07 AM

Pete Seeger recorded WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN CONGRESS on "Songs of Struggle and Protest, 1930-1950" and on "Wimoweh and Other Songs of Freedom and Protest".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What a Friend We Have in Congress
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 11:33 AM

Jim-
Thanx for the lead. Does anyone have either of these recordings?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What a Friend We Have in Congress
From: Mark Ross
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 09:58 AM

Written, I believe, by Ernie Marrs. I think I remember seeing it in SING OUT!

Mark Ross

    Threads combined. -Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr Req: What A Friend We Have In Congress
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 04:53 AM

This is a song by Pete Seeger but I don't know the lyrics.
This is the only version I found on web - a version by John Denver.
I hope somebody can transcribe the lyrics. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What A Friend We Have In Congress
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 06:48 AM

We have of course the Pete Seeger and a sample or a paid track download through Smithsonian:

http://www.folkways.si.edu/trackdetail.aspx?itemid=25061
FW31018_205
Wimoweh and Other Songs of Freedom and Protest
What a Friend We Have in Congress
Pete Seeger
Duration - 1:58
Liner Notes - Side Two Track 5 "Saterizes the brutal destructiveness of war and "the people at the top" who wage it with such "efficency" - with everything to be paid for "bay and by." Paterned after the old gospel song "WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS."

We have an interesting notation in a campus newspaper:
Hymn For Lyndon
by REV. ALAN JACKSON
Modern Hymn, to be sung to the tune: "What A Friend We Have In Jesus":
THE UBYSSEY, Vancouver, B.C., Friday, November 26, 1965 Page 10.
University of Britiish Columbia
www.library.ubc.ca/archives/pdfs/ubyssey/UBYSSEY_1965_11_26.pdf

And:
EXCELLENT ! ! ! - We have a GREAT - Free MP3 recording by the Cincinnati Dancing Pigs Jug Band
................cincinnatidancingpigs.com/concerts/What%20A%20Friend%20We%20Have%20In%20Congress.mp3

What a friend we have in congress
Who will guard our every shore
Spend three quarters of our taxes
Getting ready for the war .

Guns will make our coastline bristle
And we have (need) to fill the skies
Full of planes and missles
They'll be paid for by and by.

Have you noticed all the progress
In our mighty airborn fleet?
By the time a plane's adopted
It's already obsolete.

Modern bombs are sure to carry
Loads of glory, joy and thrills,
What a privilege to bury
All the death our money kills.

There's no factory profit brothers
And we have to do or die
One improvement then another
They'll be paid for by and by.

Never mind the widows weeping
Disregard the orphen's cries
When God wakes the dead and sleeping
They'll be paid for by and by.

Note Seeger sings "have" and Pigs sing "need" in stanza two line two.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

It was Dick Greenhaus's observation October 20, 2000 of Everett Dirkson that led me on the quest. (I once did a rhetorical analysis of Dirkson - in the 1960's he was considered the most poswerful speaker in congress....and thought ah-ha ! ! ! "Congressional Record" - but that was a no go.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What A Friend We Have In Congress
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 06:54 AM

GUEST -

If you please? Post the link to the John Denver version you found.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What A Friend We Have In Congress
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 08:27 AM

Thank you very much, Gargoyle!
http://www.cincinnatidancingpigs.com/concerts/What%20A%20Friend%20We%20Have%20In%20Congress.mp3
I'm sure this version is sung by John Denver in 1969, before he release his first album. Almost three quarters of the songs he sang in these three concerts are never officially recorded by John Denver. I hope there are better quality mp3s, but there isn't (What a pity!).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What A Friend We Have In Congress
From: Mark Ross
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 12:18 PM

The song was written by Ernie Marr. Tom Paxton also did another parody WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN HOOVER.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What A Friend We Have In Congress
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 01:00 PM

Thanx. Two questions, though:
a) Mark, do you have the words to "What a Friend We Have in Hoover"?
b) Does anybody know the words to what Everett Dirksen sang?


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN HOOVER (Paxton)
From: beardedbruce
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 01:17 PM

WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN HOOVER

(Tom Paxton)

What a friend we have in Hoover!
Freedom has no truer friend.
Is your thinking left of center?
He will get you in the end.
Does your telephone sound funny?
Is some stranger standing by? (standing by)
Do not bother your repairman.
Take it to the FBI.

Are you now or have you ever
Been a member of a cell?
Are you running short of comrades?
Things aren't going very well?
Is the Daily Worker falt'ring?
Has your treasury gone dry?
Half your comrades know the answer:
Take it to the FBI

It's purely for investigation
As all its records plainly show
And that it has no further powers
Dillinger should only know
If you're bombed in Mississippi
And the cops ride gaily by
Just find the sheriff's closest buddy
Just take it to the FBI

Martin Luther King's a liar
His movement's full of shady guys
The nobel people must be crazy
They went and handed him a prize
It's wrong to criticize the Bureau
And any patriotic guy
Would round up Warren's whole Committee
And take it to the FBI


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What A Friend We Have In Congress
From: Mark Ross
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 01:28 PM

Thanks beardedbruce, I could only remember the 1st verse.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What A Friend We Have In Congress
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 25 Sep 09 - 10:43 PM

Here comes the long awaited version by John Denver!

John Denver - What A Friend We Have In Congress


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What A Friend We Have In Congress
From: kendall
Date: 25 Sep 09 - 11:12 PM

Poor old Herbert. Fact is he was quite successful before the depression sunk him.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What A Friend We Have In Congress
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 09:25 AM

The Hoover referred to in Tom Paxton's song was J. Edgar, not Herbert.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN CONGRESS
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 09:53 AM

Here's a better transcription of the lyrics that John Denver sang. Gargoyle's version left out 4 lines. Furthermore, if you listen to the melody, you'll see that it's 3 verses of 8 lines, not 6 verses of 4 lines.

What a friend we have in Congress,
Who will guard our every shore,
Spends three quarters of our taxes
Getting ready for a war.
Guns must make our coastline bristle,
And we need to fill the sky
Full of planes and guided missiles.
They'll be paid for by and by.

Have you noticed all the progress
In our mighty airborne fleet?
By the time a plane's adopted,
It's already obsolete.
There's no factory profit, brothers,
And we have to do or die.
One improvement then another,
They'll be paid for by and by.

Modern bombs are sure to carry
Loads of glory, joy and thrills.
What a privilege to bury
All the dead our money kills!
Never mind the widow's weeping.
Disregard the orphan's cry.
When God wakes the dead and sleeping,
They'll be paid for by and by.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What a Friend We Have in Congress
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 10:20 AM

Oh, great transcription. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What a Friend We Have in Congress
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 02:16 PM

Great concept! Totally open ended. One can keep adding verses until it takes on epic proportions!

Whatever Congress happens to be [not] dealing with at the time.

Don Firth


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN CONGRESS
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 08:18 PM

WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN CONGRESS
Words by Ernie Marrs
As sung by Pete Seeger on "Songs of Struggle and Protest, 1930-50" (Smithsonian Folkways, 1964)

What a friend we have in Congress,
Who will guard our e'vry shore,
Spends three-quarters of our taxes
Getting ready for a war.
Guns must make our coastline bristle,
And we have to fill the sky
Full of flames and guided missiles.
They'll be paid for by and by.

Have you noticed all the progress
In our mighty airborne fleet?
By the time the plane's adopted,
It's already obsolete.
There's no fact'ry profit, brother,
And we have to do or die.
One improvement then another,
They'll be paid for by and by.

Modern bombs are sure to carry
Loads of glory, joy and thrills.
What a privilege to bury
All the dead our money kills!
Never mind the widows weeping.
Disregard the orphan's cry.
When God wakes the dead and sleeping,
They'll be paid for by and by.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What a Friend We Have in Congress
From: Mike in Brunswick
Date: 31 Jan 12 - 11:02 PM

Everett Dirksen really sang or recited that before Congress?! Boy, Republicans really were a lot better back then.

Mike


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What a Friend We Have in Congress
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 01 Feb 12 - 04:24 PM

He sang one by that title. Don't know if it was the same song.


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Subject: RE: What a Friend We Have in Hoover
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 09 Sep 14 - 06:08 AM

The BigO audio archive has a recording of the Tom Paxton parody, What a Friend We Have in Hoover. It was not included on any of Tom's albums.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What a Friend We Have in Congress
From: Mark Ross
Date: 09 Sep 14 - 12:32 PM

I only used to hear Tom sing it at his shows.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What a Friend We Have in Congress
From: GUEST,Tuvya - email to Joe Offer
Date: 12 May 18 - 11:11 AM

forgot how to post this but I am surprised that the lyrics posted for "What a Friend we have in Congress" don’t include this verse which I’m sure Pete sang:

HAVE WE TRIALS, INVESTIGATIONS
THERE'S SUBVERSION EVERYWHERE
CARELESS WORDS MAKE COMPLICATIONS
JAIL YOUR THOUGHTS AND KEEP 'EM THERE
LISTEN ONLY TO OUR STATESMEN
CLOSE EACH WONDERING [“WANDERiNG?"] WICKED EYE
SAVE OUR OLD TRADITIONAL FREEDOMS
THEY'LL BE PAID FOR BY AND BY

While it does pull the song a bit off course it adds a richness to the discussion suggesting there’s resistance afoot. Dunno if the words are Ernie’s or Pete’s or...

Ted


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