Almanac Singers

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Ballad Of October 16th


It was on a Saturday night and the moon was shining bright
They passed the conscription bill
And the people they did say for many miles away
'Twas the President and his boys on Capitol Hill.

Oh, Franklin Roosevelt told the people how he felt
We damn near believed what he said
He said, "I hate war, and so does Eleanor
But we won't be safe 'till everybody's dead."

When my poor old mother died I was sitting by her side
A-promising to war I'd never go.
But now I'm wearing khaki jeans and eating army beans
And I'm told that J. P. Morgan loves me so.

I have wandered over this land, a roaming working man
No clothes to wear and not much food to eat.
But now the government foots the bill
Gives me clothes and feeds me swill
Gets me shot and puts me underground six feet.


Why nothing can be wrong if it makes our country strong
We got to get tough to save democracy.
And though it may mean war
We must defend Singapore
This don't hurt you half as much as it hurts me.