Country Joe & The Fish
Country Joe and the Fish was an American psychedelic rock band formed in Berkeley, California, in 1965.
Much of the band's music was written by founding members Country Joe and "The Fish" Melton, with lyrics pointedly addressing issues of importance to the counterculture, such as anti-war protests, free love, and recreational drug use.
I Feel Like I'm Fixing To Die Rag
Recorded - July 1967 – September 1967
Released - November 1967
Background - what was going on when this song has released
The United States was involved in the Vietnam War in order to stop the spread of the communist power.
By Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, the US congress gave Lyndon Johnson a broad military powers in Vietnam. (Blank Check)
The government did the Conscription, which picks American youth and force them into the Vietnam war.
After Diem's death, the South Vietnam was unstable, and LBJ did not want the communist's aggression towards to the South Vietnam.
In Feb. 1965, the US launched Operation Rolling Thunder, a sustained bombing campaign against targets in North Vietnam.
In July 1965, the US announced a deployment of 100,000 US soldiers.
By the end of 1967, there were 485,000 US soldiers in Vietnam. US troop losses and civilian casualty figures were triggering domestic protests, and the outcome of the war remained uncertain.
Hey! LBJ! How many kids did you kill today?
Analysis of the song
2:00 to 2:30
Come on Wall Street, don't be slow, Why man, this is war au-go-go There’s plenty good money to be made By supplying the Army with the tools of its trade,
The first part of the song means that most of military expenses is from 'wall street' which represents American industry and the benefits from the war goes back to the industry.
The lyrics attempts to put blame for the war upon the leaders of the US military and the industry that makes its money from war, but not upon those who had to fight the war. It reminds me that IKE's warning of 'Military-Industrial Complex' is no longer a theory, it's real.
Just hope and pray that if they drop the bomb, They drop it on the Viet Cong.
This shows the anti-communism in America.
This part says that, "We don't know the purpose of the fighting, but if we attack somebody, then we hope that it goes to the communists(Viet Cong), because the government said they are bad."
What are we fighting for ? Don't ask me, I don't give a damn, Next stop is Vietnam. WELL THERE AIN'T NO TIME TO WONDER WHY, WHOOPEE! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE.
There was no point involving in the Vietnam War and spending tons of money and killing lots of people. 'Don't ask me' shows American soldiers that don't really know why are they in the war and fighting against Vietnamese. This song twists the reality of American society and military cynically.
Also, it expresses the thoughts of a person trapped in the military system and forced to go to war by the draft. Draft was a system that picked young people and forced them into the military and into the war.
They can't really find a reason of intervention with taking lots of risks.
overall inspiration and message of the lyrics of the song
The song reveals the fact of American government's decision against the Vietnam ironically. It appealed to American youth, particularly those of draft age, and encouraged them to question U.S. involvement in the war. The song went further still by criticizing Wall Street's efforts to make profit from the war.