Browsing through my iTunes library on my computer, I came across the “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag” by Country Joe & the Fish which was performed to memorable effect at the legendary Woodstock festival in 1969. I used to watch the Woodstock documentary with my sisters until we knew all the songs by heart even though all three of us were born after the event. And this song was one of our favorites. We didn’t however really register the nature of the protest or the feeling that could permeate an audience and make them all sing along. We just thought it was a catchy tune and that must be why everyone knew the song. Well today, in september 2004, with the daily depressing news coming out of Iraq, the bombs, the hostages, the chaos, the casualties, I find the song is just as relevant as ever. The atmosphere that surrounds what’s going on in Iraq seems to me as depressing as Vietnam (though without the draft). The political process in the USA and the debate about Iraq seems even more stifled than that surrounding Vietnam. One feels demoralised by it all and just feels like yelling that old infamous Fish cheer all over again: “Give me an F. Give me a U. Give me a C. Give me a K. What’s that spell ? What’s that spell ? What’s that spell ? ”

Given the newfound relevance (in my eyes) of the song, I also found updated lyrics to it on the Country Joe site:

Fixin’ to Lie Rag
by Randall Bart

Come on all you Americans.
Bush is President again.
He found a guy who’s really bad.
The name’s Saddam. He’s in Baghdad.
So show some ID, take off your shoes.
What have you got to lose?

And it’s one, two, three,
What are we searching for?
George said it, it must be true.
I believe in W.
And it’s five, six, seven,
Tell me who I should hate.
There’s no need to wonder why,
‘Cause Presidents never lie.

The USA’s the worldwide cop,
And evildoers must be stopped.
Saddam’s got nukes and poison gas.
Let’s go kick him in the ass.
Conquer the land, sell off the oil.
To the victor goes the spoil.

And it’s one, two, three,
What are we searching for?
George said it, it must be true.
I believe in W.
And it’s five, six, seven,
Tell me who I should hate.
There’s no need to wonder why,
‘Cause Presidents never lie.

Now there’s rebuilding to be done.
Halliburton is the one.
Cheney says they have the skills.
We’re the ones who pay the bills.
So give up your rights. Write me a check.
We’ll make the whole world a wreck.

And it’s one, two, three,
What are we paying for?
Dick said it, it must be spent.
He’s our Vice President.
And it’s five, six, seven,
Tell me who I should hate.
There’s no need to wonder why.
Vice Presidents never lie.