I Went to See the President


Key of C, Tempo 110


This is a song I wrote in the late 70s when I was a teenager living in Germany. I had gone to see President Carter speak in Frankfurt, and was so moved by the protesters who were there. Amazingly, these lyrics still resonate in 2022, although I could easily change “Russians” to “terrorist” or “virus” in verse 5.

Musically, the song repeats the same C-G-F-Am chord progression over and over. I wrote it originally for the acoustic guitar, and for years I thought of it as my “Bob Dylan song” (early Dylan, of course). This version has a lot more embellishment, and I even transition to something much more industrial at the end. My intent in doing so is to represent how our country seems to have grown darker in tone, for me at least, since the sunny optimism of Jimmy Carter’s first presidential campaign – when he really did feel like a guest of new wind after the traumas of the 60s and the debauchery of Nixon.

Lyrically, one of my favorites, because it stands up so well after so many years. America is, after all, America.

2022 - Album - Photos - Journals - 13 - Song - I Went to See the President
The final handwritten version of what I called my “Bob Dylan song”

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