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Pete Seeger: “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy”

September 28, 2007

Justice Jukebox

The great folksinger Pete Seeger first planned to sing this song on national television in 1963 on the Smothers Brothers comedy hour, but CBS refused to let him, feeling it pointed all too clearly to the “big fool” in the White House. Four years later, with public opinion firmly against the Vietnam war, the network relented and Seeger performed it on the show as part of a medley of anti-war songs. Sadly it seems as relevant today as forty years ago. But like Pete sings in the final verse, “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.”

Lyrics

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