BIG MUDDY – PETE SEEGER

My previous post which includes the John Fogarty song “Deja Vu All Over Again” contains a reference to Big Muddy. “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy” is an allegorical anti-war song written by Pete Seeger in 1963. Seeger was to perform the song on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1967 but the CBS moguls refused to allow him to sing it because they reasoned the lyrics might be interpreted as critical of the Johnson Administration’s policy in Vietnam. Maybe it’s time to remind everyone of the song and the deadly foolishness of the current administration’s policy in Iraq.

So, here is a video and the words of “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy.”

Waist Deep In The Big Muddy

I was a member of a good platoon.
We were on maneuvers in-a Loozianna,
One night by the light of the moon.
The captain told us to ford a river,
That’s how it all begun.
We were — knee deep in the Big Muddy,
But the big fool said to push on.

The Sergeant said, “Sir, are you sure,
This is the best way back to the base?”
“Sergeant, go on! I forded this river
‘Bout a mile above this place.
It’ll be a little soggy but just keep slogging.
We’ll soon be on dry ground.”
We were — waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool said to push on.

The Sergeant said, “Sir, with all this equipment
No man will be able to swim.”
“Sergeant, don’t be a Nervous Nellie,”
The Captain said to him.
“All we need is a little determination;
Men, follow me, I’ll lead on.”
We were — neck deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool said to push on.

All at once, the moon clouded over,
We heard a gurgling cry.
A few seconds later, the captain’s helmet
Was all that floated by.
The Sergeant said, “Turn around men!
I’m in charge from now on.”
And we just made it out of the Big Muddy
With the captain dead and gone.

We stripped and dived and found his body
Stuck in the old quicksand.
I guess he didn’t know that the water was deeper
Than the place he’d once before been.
Another stream had joined the Big Muddy
‘Bout a half mile from where we’d gone.
We were lucky to escape from the Big Muddy
When the big fool said to push on.

Well, I’m not going to point any moral;
I’ll leave that for yourself
Maybe you’re still walking, you’re still talking
You’d like to keep your health.
But every time I read the papers
That old feeling comes on;
We’re — waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.

Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.
Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.
Waist deep! Neck deep! Soon even a
Tall man’ll be over his head, we’re
Waist deep in the Big Muddy!
And the big fool says to push on!

Words and music by Pete Seeger (1967)
TRO (c) 1967 Melody Trails, Inc. New York, NY

 

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About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
This entry was posted in History, Middle East, Military, Politics, The Sixties, Veterans, Vietnam War, War. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to BIG MUDDY – PETE SEEGER

  1. lolarusa says:

    Pete was able to perform the song unedited a year later on the Smothers Brothers program. I’ve posted a video of his moving performance at http://chawedrosin.wordpress.com/2006/11/19/waist-deep-in-the-big-muddy/

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