Le Chad Mitchell Trio avait commencé à chanter dans la veine folk à la fin des années 50, jouant parfois la première partie des concerts de Harry Balafonte. A partir des années 60, il s’est en particulier illustré par des chansons caustiques et satiriques, parfois déjantées, souvent sur des sujets politiques. C’est la cas ici, dans un enregistrement en public avec John Denver, daté de 1968, où ils moquent avec brio la John Birch Society, un groupe ultra-conservateur qui faisait de l’anticommunisme paranoïaque son fonds de commerce, dans une ambiance caricaturale de l’idéologie de la guerre froide. Cette chanson date de 1962 : certains noms propres ont été modifiés pour l’adapter à l’ambiance du jour ; on voit ainsi apparaitre Ronald Reagan – alors gouverneur de Californie, et Brejnev remplace Khrouchtchev. Les dylanologues connaissent bien le talking blues du jeune Bob Dylan, resté longtemps inédit, John Birch Paranoid Blues, que l’on trouve sur ce site. La chanson du Chad Mitchell Trio est un peu de la même eau quant au fond, mais tirant plus encore vers la moquerie burlesque.

JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY

Now we’re meeting at the courthouse at eight o’clock tonight
You just come in the door and take the first turn to the right
Be careful when you get there, we’d hate to be bereft
But we’re taking down the names of everybody turning left

Oh we’re the John Birch Society, the John Birch Society
Here to save our country from a communistic plot
Join the John Birch Society, help us fill the ranks
To get this movement started, we need lots of tools and cranks

Now there’s no one that we’re certain the Kremlin doesn’t touch
We think that Ronald Reagan doth protest a bit too much
We only hail the hero from whom we got our name
We’re not sure what he did, but he’s our hero all the same

Oh we’re the John Birch Society, the John Birch Society
Socialism is the ism dismalist of all
Join the John Birch Society, there’s so much to do
Have you heard they’re serving vodka at the W.C.T.U.

Now you’ve heard about the agents that we’ve already named
Well M.C.A. has agents that are flatly unashamed
We’re after Rosie Clooney, we’ve gotten Pinky Lee
And the day we get Red Skelton won’t that be a victory

Oh we’re the John Birch Society, the John Birch Society
Norman Vincent Peale may think he’s kidding us along
But the John Birch Society knows he spilled the beans
He keeps on preaching brotherhood, but we know what he means

We’ll teach you how to spot ’em in the cities or the sticks
For even old Danville is just full of Bolsheviks
The CIA’s subversive and so’s the FCC
There’s no one left but thee and we, and we’re not sure of thee

Oh we’re the John Birch Society, the John Birch Society
Here to save our country from a Communistic plot
Join the John Birch Society, holding off the Reds
We’ll use our hands and hearts, and if we must, we’ll use our heads

[Background]
O beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain

[Spoken]
Do you want Justice Warren to be your Commissar?
Do you want Mrs. Brezhnev in there with the DAR?
You cannot trust your neighbors, or even next-of-kin
If mommy is a Commie then you gotta turn her in

Oh we’re the John Birch Society, the John Birch Society
Fighting for the right to fight the right fight for the right
Join the John Birch Society, as we’re marching on
We’ll all be glad to see you when we’re meeting in the John
In the John, in the John Birch Society