Monday, September 19, 2011

Plow Under


Pete Seeger: "I was going right along with the Communist Party line back in the late 30s. I went along with a number of acquaintances I knew and was making up peace songs. In 1940, we even put out a record called “Songs for John Doe” with such lyrics as: “Remember when the AAA killed a million hogs a day, instead of hogs it’s men today, plow the fourth one under, plow under, plow under, plow under every fourth American boy.” I was working with Lee Hays, who was a wonderful songwriter. Lee was the son of a Baptist preacher in Arkansas. He knew gospel songs in white churches and in black churches. Lee came to New York wanting to put out a book of Union songs, and I got together with him. He made up the words of “If I Had a Hammer” and “Kisses Sweeter than Wine.” (Pete Seeger Interview, Rutherford Institute)

“Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.”—Pete Seeger

Remember when the AAA
Killed a million hogs a day
Instead of hogs it's men today
Plow the fourth one under.

CHORUS:
Plow under, plow under
Plow under
Every fourth American boy.


They said our agricultural
System was about to fall
From Washington they sent a call
Plow the fourth one under.
CHORUS


The price of cotton wouldn't rise
They said, "We've got to fertilize"
So now on us they turn their eyes
Plow the fourth one under.
CHORUS


They said our system wouldn't work
Until we killed the surplus off
So now they look at us and say
Plow the fourth one under.

CHORUS
Any ignorant mule does know
Better than to step on a cotton row
But there ain't no mules in Congress, so
Plow the fourth one under.

CHORUS

Homeless farmers

Now the politicians rant
A boy's no better than a cotton plant
But we are here to say you can't
Plow the fourth one under.



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