WAIST DEEP IN THE BIG MUDDY




Friends Patricia Relf and Bill Hanavan made it to the demonstration Saturday, along with friends Caleb and Rachel and other friends and family from Kalamazoo. Pat sent these pictures of the crowds.
The saddest picture was taken behind the speakers' platform. You can make out Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins on the platform in the background; the man in the foreground, Carlos Arredondo, lost his son Marine Lance Corporal Alexander Arredondo in Iraq. He was killed in An Najaf on his father's birthday while on his second tour in Iraq.

The broadcast towers set up around the stage were so big, they blocked the commoners' view of the stage. Bill was disappointed that there weren't more angry signs.

And I've been wondering if someone would remember or rediscover the song "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy", even more relevant now than when it was first composed by Pete Seeger in 1967, and here it is:
It was back in nineteen forty-two,
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!

3 comments:

Ormondroyd's Encyclopedia Esoterica said...

Follow up, also from Pat: Watch how the Press Secretary works in the F-word and politely diminished expectations:

MR. (TONY) SNOW: Helen.

Q What did the President think of the march on Washington?

MR. SNOW: I don't think he really thought a lot about it. It's nice to see Jane Fonda in front of the camera again. There are a number of people who were here making statements, and that's perfectly appropriate. This is a vigorous democracy.

Q You said something earlier this morning, though. Would you like to repeat that?

MR. SNOW: It's simply that there were predictions of a larger audience than showed up for the protest.

Q And you really counted heads?

MR. SNOW: No. Did you? Did you see 100,000?

Q Don't you think we had a good turnout?

MR. SNOW: Honestly, I didn't go there, Helen, so I'm not going to characterize.

Q How do you make a statement like that?

MR. SNOW: Well, because it's pretty clear from the press accounts that nobody attached six figures to the number who appeared.

Anonymous said...

Kudos and thanks for giving the Big Muddy lyrics. Even more apropos to the current situation than I remembered. Unfortunately. --Pat

Anonymous said...

I agree, the Big Muddy lyrics are more than appropriate for what we are going through currently.
Sigh, Dee Ann