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Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security

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Ain't I Right: Marty Robbins [1966]

Ain't I Right, which features similar pro-Vietnam War themes to Tommy James' The Commies Are Coming is considerably faster and easier to listen to (mainly because Marty Robbins knew how to sing). The song assails what its narrator views as interlopers ("a bearded bathless bunch") coming to a "southern town" to spread the word of Communism by protesting against the war. In the estimation of the narrator, the act of burning a draft card is a "get acquainted Communistic kiss." It appears as though the song was slated for single release, but canceled at the last minute.

For those who wonder about such things, the first reported torching of a draft card took place in 1965. The offender, David Miller, a Catholic pacifist, served 22 months in a Federal prison from 1968 to 1970 after he exhausted all of his appeals.

Martin David Robinson was born near Glendale, Arizona in 1925. Robbins and his twin sister, Mamie, were raised in an impoverished household and Robbins dropped out of school in his teens. He served in the navy during World War II and it was a couple of years after the war that Robbins music career started in earnest. In 1947 Robbins was hired for a radio show and, later a television program, on KPHO and KPHO-TV in Phoenix.

In 1951 singer Little Jimmy Dickens was a guest on Robbins' TV show and was so impressed by the host's talents that he helped get Robbins signed to his label, Columbia. Robbins would remain on Columbia for most of his career with the exception of a brief period in the mid '70s when he recorded for Decca/MCA. In 1953 Robbins moved to Nashville, Tennessee and joined the Grand Ole Opry.

During his career Robbins recorded and performed a range of music including rockabilly, country, gospel, pop and even Hawaiian music. Robbins racked up a total of 94 charting records including 16 number one hits. His biggest hit was the western epic El Paso, which he also wrote. It won the artist his first Grammy, and also happened to be the first Grammy given to a country song. In 1969 Robbins suffered a heart attack, but he rebounded and by 1971 had received a second Grammy for his song My Woman, My Woman, My Wife which was another one of his own compositions.

Robbins' other pursuits included stock car racing, writing (the paperback western novel 'The Small Man') and acting (in films including 1957's 'The Badge Of Marshall Brennan,' 1964's 'Ballad Of A Gunfighter,' 1973's 'Guns Of A Stranger' and others). In 1982 Robbins released his final top ten hit, Some Memories Just Won't Die and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Robbins died of a heart attack the same year.

LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
Ain't I Right: Marty Robbins [1966]

You came down to this southern town last summer
To show the folks a brand new way of life
But all you've shown the folks around here is trouble
And you've only added misery to their strife
Your concern is not to help the people
And I'll say again, though it's been often said
Your concern is just to bring discomfort, my friend
And your policy is just a little red

Refrain: Now, ain't I right (ain't he right)
(ain't he right)

It matters not to you how people suffer
And should they, you'd consider that a gain
You bring a lot of trouble to the town and then you leave
That's part of your Communistic game
I detect a little Communism
I can see it in the things ya do
Communism, Socialism call it what you like
There's very little difference in the two

Refrain

Your followers sometimes have been a bearded, bathless bunch
There's even been a minister or two
A priest, a nun, a rabbi and an educated man
Have listened and been taken in by you
Aw, the country's full of two-faced politicians
Who encourage you with words that go like this
Burn your draft card if you like, it's good to disagree
That's a get aquainted Communistic kiss

Refrain

One politician said it would be nice to send some blood
And help the enemy in Vietnam
That's what he says, here's what I say, let's just keep the blood
Instead let's send that politician man
Let's rid the country of the politicians,
Who coddle tramps that march out in our streets
Protesting those who wanna fight for freedom, my friend
This kind of leader makes our country weak

Refrain

Let's look and find the strong and able leaders
It's time we found just how our neighbors stand
If we're to win this war with Communism
Let's fight it here as well as Vietnam
Let's rise as one and meet our obligations
So Communistic boots will never trod
Across the fields of freedom that were given to us
With the blessing of our great almighty God
Across the fields of freedom that were given to us
With the blessing of our great almighty God

Marty Robbins [1966]
Ain't I Right
(Marty Robbins)
Columbia 4-43651; Bear Family BCD 15655 'Country 1960 1966'

CATEGORY: SONGS: VIETNAM WAR[ 1 | COMMENTS | May 10, 06 | 4:10 am ]

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