Obituary

Tuli Kupferberg Remembered

Tuli Kupferberg died on Monday at the age of 86. In a blog post that I wrote earlier this year, I profiled one of his Vietnam War protest songs. Given his recent death, I thought I would reproduce some more of his work.

In 1966, together with Robert Bashlow, Kupferberg published a humorous pamphlet, 1001 Ways to Beat the Draft. Below I copy a few of those 1001 ways:

  • Marry your mother.
  • Marry your father.
  • Blow up the Statue of Liberty.
  • Marry your sister.
  • Marry your brother.
  • Marry your daughter.
  • Join the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.
  • Marry your son.
  • Marry Lassie.
  • Marry President Johnson.
  • Marry Mao Tse-Tung.
  • Proclaim that Mao Tse-Tung is the living God
  • Proclaim that you are the living God.
  • Stamp your feet in the earth like Rumpelstiltskin and refuse to eat until our boys return from Vietnam.
  • Tell them you have made a pact with the Devil: in return for eternal youth you have promised to sacrifice a chicken every night at the United Hebrew Cemetery in Staten Island. You were a fool, but you agreed that if you should fail to observe this ritual for just one night, the universe would be extinguished. Obviously, if you are drafted and sent to Vietnam you will not be able to perform the sacrifice at the proper location. Appeal to their sense of guilt and ask whether they would like to be responsible for extinguishing the universe.

Below are two of his songs contained in Barbara Dane and Irwin Silber’s The Vietnam Song Book, (Guardian Books, 1969).

Napalm Sue

They call her Napalm Sue,
She throws a hot and wicked screw,
And all the boys in Saigon,
Love to show their short arm
To Napalm Sue.

One day a letter in bed
Said the Yanks killed her dear mother dead.
So she dreamed up a plan
That would get her a man,
That Napalm Sue, Oh Napalm Sue.

She broke the compound’s latch,
And shoved napalm right up her snatch,
And when GI Joe came,
Well they both went up in flame,
Poor Joey and Sue,
My Joey and Sue.

Morals of this tale, they are two.
First taste the jelly when you screw,
And the next thing you must learn
It is better to love than to burn.
Yes it’s better, it’s better
To love than to bu-ur-urn.

Come on Baby, Let the Gook Heads Roll
(“Come on Baby, Let the Good Times Roll”)

Come on baby, let the Gook heads roll,
Come on baby, let it thrill your soul,
Come on baby, let the Gook heads roll,
Roll ten years long.

Come on baby, this is it,
This is somethin’ that I just can’t miss,
Come on baby, let the Gook heads roll,
Roll all night long.

Come on baby, while the thrill is on,
Come on baby, let’s have some fun,
Come on baby, let the etc…

Come on baby, let’s burn the door,
Come on baby, let’s kill some more,
Come on baby, let the gook heads roll,
Roll all night long.

Feels so good, when you shoot,
Come on baby, kill kill kill some more.

Come on baby, let the Gook heads roll,
(etc., as 1st verse; until fade out, alternate bridge and first verse).

Share this article.

shares