Terra Sigillata

The Stetson Kennedy birthday verses

Okay, the last bit about Billy Bragg, Woody Guthrie, and Stetson Kennedy before getting back to natural product medicines….

So, the folk musician in me had prepared for Stetson Kennedy at his 90th birthday celebration this weekend a new verse to the Woody Guthrie lyrics set to music by Billy Bragg.

As a US Airways snafu kept me for singing these verses this weekend in Beluthathatchee/Fruit Cove, Florida, I wanted to leave these for posterity until I record them under my musical persona.

These may not mean anything to most readers, but recall that Guthrie’s Stetson Kennedy lyrics originally were written in response to Kennedy’s 1950 US Senate write-in campaign when Florida Democratic and Republican candidates, Claude Pepper and George Smathers, seemed inadequate at the time.

Faced with these 1949-1950 lyrics in 1998, Billy Bragg wrote a great progression in E-minor to evoke the protest feeling of the verses, and Woody Guthrie had written several missives to Kennedy about the boggy, swampy nature of his estate.

So, my 90th birthday verses to Stetson added to “Stetson Kennedy” are as follows:


Well in two-thousand-eight, he’ll only be ninety-two
Even the Dems are screwed up and we don’t know what to do
So, let’s ask him, let’s draft him, let’s write his name in
Ol’ Stetson Kennedy can wash away Bush’s sins

Let’s fire up a computer; get him Gmail and a blog
And we’ll move the White House to this Beluthahatchee bog

Oh, let’s make Stetson Kennedy the man…
Let’s make Stetson Kennedy the man,
For the land of the free
And the home of the brave

(c) 2006 Pharmboi Music