STUTTERING JOHN'S THREE BEST LINES FROM THE WEDNESDAY NIGHT DEBATE: (These are actual quotes)"I HAVE FOUGHTS AGAINST SPENDING" - "PALIN IS A BREAST OF FRESH AIR" - and, almost unbelievably, said in closing to Obama: "GOOD JOB, GOOD JOB, YOU GOT 'EM!"
(followed by vaudeville hand dancing and awkward reunion with wife)
Question to McCain: How does Sarah Palin 'know more about Autism than most people'? Her child has Downs, which is very different, and isn't even a year old.
FOUND! 1929 Song lyrics by Senator McCain!
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Much has been said of John McCain's recent 'My Fellow Prisoners' outburst at a political rally (see youtube clip below, twenty seconds in). Many have lept to the Senator's defense, claiming the moment to be mere clumsiness, while others have celebrated the gaff as a self-condemning bullseye, better than the finest satire. Let's watch:
Sure, on the surface it's a dismal screw-up. The possible career-ender not only suggests a shattered psyche, still living in and peering out of a Vietcong cage - it also speaks to every phobia we as a people have of a burgeoning police state, particularly of a future driven by Republican leadership. The gaff, as we say, blows a breeze right up the Emperor's skirt.
However, it might surprise many to learn that the phrase is nothing new to the Senator. No, in fact, the line has been used by McCain for over 80 years -- both at the podium and in front of the piano. As many know, McCain made a small living in the 30s, getting through the Depression on the showbiz circuit. Often performing material that was blue in nature, but nothing too off the cuff.
We spoke to McCain by phone last Thursday about the song, and the phrase. What 'being fellow prisoners' means. We appreciate both his candor and generosity.
The 30s were difficult for McCain. Asking about that time so long ago:
"It was torture" he said.
"You think I have competition now.
Try beating 400 out-of-work Jews at an audition."
Such was the life for John McCain, then a 48 year old twice-divorced songwriter, insurance salesman and recovering alcoholic. "Thank god for prohibition" he said. "Dried me out like a wet shirt on a clothesline" We asked him about his time in the 20s as a songwriter, and specifically, about his 1929 Depression-era hit "My Fellow Prisoners"
the original 1929 song sheet
McCAIN: "Oh, that song ... That song is something special to me. I was only 48 back then. Hadn't even gone to Vietnam yet. They didn't even have a NAME for VIETNAM in those days. Can you believe that? It used to just be indicated on a map with a picture of a chinaman with big buck teeth. Ah, those were the days. Anyway, yeah, well, as I mentioned, I was just getting over a heavy season of drinking. Dark times, and I was hallucinating a lot. Wanted to viciously kill any rat bastard that got in my way. Prison of the mind, son. I've never left it. It was then the phrase started showing up in my head. 'We're all prisoners' dah - dah - dah - dat! I saw it all in one big flash of light, grabbed my piano bench and ran to the closest stage I could find."
What about the shower sequence in the song, where you dream of being kissed softly by President Calvin Coolidge?
"Ha, ah... well it was an experimental time for me. I mean as a lyricist."
And the financial endorsement of Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act? Included right in the lyrics? I mean...
"No regulation back then. Those were the days!"
Here's the rest of the item. Click any thumbnail below for a larger view of the entire document.
OF HISTORICAL NOTE: This recently unearthed item is a real discovery in anthropological attempts to properly carbon date John McCain. A previous document from 1934, the ribald "OBLIGING LADY", was thought to be the oldest known piece of McCain memorabilia. However, this song sheet, with references to Senator Reed Smoot and President Coolidge clearly dates at 1929, making this currently the oldest McCain item ever known to exist.