Letâ€™s impeach the president for lying
And leading our country into war
Abusing all the power that we gave him
And shipping all our money out the door
Heâ€™s the man who hired all the criminals
The White House shadows who hide behind closed doors
And bend the facts to fit with their new stories
Of why we have to send our men to war
Letâ€™s impeach the president for spying
On citizens inside their own homes
Breaking every law in the country
By tapping our computers and telephones
What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees
Would New Orleans have been safer that way
Sheltered by our governmentâ€™s protection
Or was someone just not home that day?
Letâ€™s impeach the president
For hijacking our religion and using it to get elected
Dividing our country into colors
And still leaving black people neglected
Thank god heâ€™s cracking down on steroids
Since he sold his old baseball team
Thereâ€™s lot of people looking at big trouble
But of course the president is clean
Living With War is starting to show up in stores. Go buy it.
Contrary to the pitch Neil Young’s PR people have come up with, he’s really never been an overtly political artist (“Ohio” notwithstanding), and I say this as someone who’s been listening to the music pretty closely for about thirty years now. He also has a history of being politically enigmatic, famously sugesting during the eighties that he was not unsympathetic to Ronald Reagan’s policies. Anyway, it seems like a pretty extraordinary thing for any musician to put out an entire album on which every song makes a direct political statement, whether he/she is known as a “protest” artist or not. Springsteen’s Nebraska might have been a commentary on the bleakness of the early Reagan years, but it didn’t contain lyrics as straightforward as “Let’s impeach the President.” Even U2 really has no more than a handful of overtly political songs in its catalogue, if you go back and think about it.
What was the tipping point when you decided you had to write and record these songs? I assume it was a cumulative thing, that they were building up inside your for a while. But what was the one thing — a conversation, a news report, a White House statement, something else — that made you say “Alright, I’m going to do this NOW.”
We were in a small hotel and I had already written four songs and was playing them in the room. I knew I was getting sucked in. I went down to the coffee machine and there was USA TODAY, the cover showed the inside of a C130 or similar large military craft, completely converted into a flying hospital. Soldiers were lying on operating tables, with physicians furiously trying to save lives at 100s of miles an hour some 20,000 feet in the air. The plane was a shuttle between Iraq and Germany, where we have these big bases and hospitals. The USA TODAY caption said something about how we are making great strides in medicine as a result of the Iraq conflict. That just caught me off guard, and i went upstairs and wrote “Families” for one of those soldiers who didn’t get to come home. Then I cried in my wife’s arms. That was the turning point for me.