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Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security

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I'm No Communist: Carson Robison [1952]

Scotty Wiseman's I'm No Communist is ostensibly a condemnation of Communism, but it is equally harsh on what the song's protagonist perceives as a U.S. government that is out of control with a 'monster size' national debt. The song conveys the populist sentiment that the government should leave the working man alone while it also applauds intimidating public hearings to determine "who's a low down Red." This topical tune was covered by several artists including Grandpa Jones, and was obviously written in reaction to the second round of House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings that began in 1951.

Carson Jay Robison, the son of a fiddler and dance caller, was born in Oswego, Kansas in 1890 and was raised in Chetopa, Kansas near the Oklahoma border. Robison worked the oil fields and for the railroad while he also sang, whistled and played guitar at local gigs. He remained in this region for the first thirty years of his life aside from his service during World War I. After the war and a stint at WDAF in Kansas City, Robison moved to New York City where he partnered with Wendell Hall, a man with whom he had worked in the Midwest, and played guitar and whistled on Hall's records. RCA Victor signed Robison as a staff guitarist and he recorded with a number of artists including Gene Austin, Buell Kazee (as Sookie Hobbs) and his friend Hall.

Robison was a gifted writer who often composed topical songs. Among his 300-plus catalog are titles such as The Mississippi Flood and Wreck Of The 1256. In 1924 Robison began a four year partnership with singer Vernon Dalhart that ended in a dispute over division of royalties on Robison's compositions. Robison's next recording partner was Frank Luther with whom he sang on nearly 300 duets on a variety of labels. Their best known collaboration may be Barnacle Bill The Sailor. In 1932 Robison began a new act called The Buckeroos with John, Bill and Pearl Mitchell. On European tours and recordings, the group was known as The Pioneers.

During World War II Robison recorded such numbers as Turkey In The Straw and Hitler's Last Letter To Hirohito. Robison's final recordings were for MGM from 1947 to 1956 with his Pleasant Valley Boys, a group named for the region in New York where his ranch was located. One of Robison's last topical songs was Rockin' And Rollin' With Grandma in 1956. The prolific artist died in 1957.

LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
I'm No Communist: Carson Robison [1952]

We're living in a country that's the finest place of earth
But some folks don't appreciate this land that gave them birth
I hear that up in Washington they're having an awful fuss
'Cause Communists and spies are making monkeys out of us

The bureaus and departments have been busy night and day
They're figuring out just how we gave our secrets all away
And Congress has appointed a committee so they said
To find out who's American and who's a low-down Red.

They call them up to Washington to speak for Uncle Sam
But when they ask them what they are, they shut up like a clam
I wish they'd take and put me on the witness stand today
I'd yell so loud old Stalin could hear me all the way

Refrain: I'm no Communist, and I'll you that right now
I believe a man should own his own house and car and cow
I like this private ownership, and I want to be left alone
Let the government run its business and let me run my own

Our government is bigger than it ever was today
The more they hire to work for it, the more they have to pay
Our public servants should be proud and honest you would think
Instead of taking bribes and dressing up their wives in mink

The taxes keep on going up of that there is no doubt
But still they just can't take it in as fast as they dish it out
Our national debt is monster size and growin' every day
Our children's children, still unborn are gonna have to pay

Our dollar used be the soundest money on this earth
But now two bucks won't even buy a good old dollar's worth
Unless we stop inflation and take care of what we've got
The Communists may win the fight and never fire a shot

Refrain

Carson Robison [1952]
I'm No Communist
(Scotty Wiseman)
MGM K 11 293

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