As many know I was absent from the United States for a period of 5 years while I was stationed overseas in the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1974. Upon my return in March 1974, I was amazed at how the country had changed and the attitude shown against then President, Richard M. Nixon.
Assigned to Ft. Bragg in North Carolina, country music was gaining in popularity at the time and political discourse was making it way into that music venue, as it had earlier in rock music.
One popular song that was still on the radio was Tom T. Hall’s, “The Monkey That Became President,” released in 1972 originally. Tom T. Hall is a songwriter, storyteller and to some, a philosopher. His tunes are catchy and enjoyable.
At the time this song was popular, I took it as a slap against politicians in general, given the vitriol coming out of Washington D.C. between the major party’s and continuing to today. I assume Hall was a Democrat as I attended a live concert of his in Fayetteville, N.C. that turned out to be a fundraiser for then candidate, Jimmy Carter. But, the song seemed to me to point at politicians in general.
Over the years I totally forgot this cute little song.
As we have now elected our first Affirmative Action President, Barack Obama and he has been inaugurated and began instituting his agenda upon us and given the recent flap about the NY Post cartoon, depicting a chimpanzee being shot by Police and how some opportunists are trying desperately to link that to racism against Obama, the song flooded back into my memory.
Who could have known that a simple song from 1972 would be so prophetic about 2009?
Video and audio at The Monkey That Became President
The Monkey That Became President
By Tom T. Hall, 1972
I was there on the day the monkey came into this world
His face was round and reddish and his hair was slightly curled
He didn’t look too different from the others I had seen
Who’d-a-thought he was the answer to the nation’s dream?
At first he didn’t seem intelligent at all
Each time he’d start to walk about he’d stumble and he’d fall
My first impression was to be a most mistaken thought
Lord a’ mighty, what’s this little hairy monkey wrought?
Because I witnessed his departure from his mother’s womb
I felt inclined to check his progress every afternoon
One day the keeper of the zoo called in the TV
Frankly said, “I think that you will be amazed at what you see”
The monkey walked and talked and waved his arms above his head
In the corner was a stack of books that he had read
“An Educated Monkey!”, said the papers ‘cross the land
It was more than weary sociologists could stand
Oh, his fame was universal, he was on the Carson show
People talked about him kindly everywhere he’d go
His insight was amazing, his philosophy was fair
He became a politician welcome everywhere
His wit was not to be compared to with any mind intact
He’d lace a phrase with irony and blend it all with fact
Conservatives applauded and the liberals were entranced
The bigots and the integrationists were in his camp
Nobody dared to meet him in an open press debate
He was nominated by the folks from every state
Yes, a monkey was the President, though it maybe not the first
And there was peace and harmony throughout the universe
The dream I had last night has been related as it came
As for interpretation, well it’s really very plain
Would you rather have a monkey up in Washington, D.C.?
Or have those people making monkeys out of you and me?