Country Joe Fish Woodstock

Country Joe Fish Woodstock

After the rain delay, Country Joe and the Fish started around 6.30 pm and  played a little over an hour. It was, of course, the second time that Joe McDonald had performed after his initially low key performance that finished with a rousing and historic “Fish” Cheer > I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag. The Fish will do the same, but with so many wet, tired, muddy, hungry attendees having to leave, the second time was less rousing than the first.

McDonald’s solo performance of Fixin’ will be included in and a highlight of the Woodstock movie released the following year.

Band personnel:

  • Country Joe McDonald: guitar, vocals

  • Barry “the Fish” Melton: guitar

Country Joe Fish Woodstock

  • Mark Kapner: keyboards

Country Joe Fish Woodstock

  • Doug Metzner: bass

Country Joe Fish Woodstock

  • Greg “Duke” Dewey: drums

Country Joe Fish Woodstock

Setlist:

  • Rock & Soul Music
  • (Thing Called) Love
  • Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine
  • Sing, Sing, Sing
  • Summer Dresses
  • Friend, Lover, Woman, Wife
  • Silver and Gold
  • Maria
  • The Love Machine
  • Ever Since You Told Me That You Love Me (I’m a Nut)
  • Crystal Blues
  • Rock & Soul Music (Reprise)
  • “Fish” Cheer > I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag

 

Country Joe Fish Woodstock

Rock & Soul Music

Together album cover. Album recorded in November 1967 and released on Vanguard Records in August 1968.

From the band’s “Together” album, the song was written by the band as it existed in 1967: Joe McDonald, Barry Melton, David Cohen, Bruce Barthol, and Gary Chicken Hersh.

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. We’re certainly delighted to be here today.  Like to start off our portion of the show by giving you a taste of a little something we call rock and soul music.

Your love is like a rainbow
Your love is like a rainbow now 
Your love is like a rainbow, I said
Falling all around my shoulders…
Marijuana!

(Thing Called) Love

Country Joe Fish Woodstock

Written by Joe McDonald and recorded in 1966 for an EP.  In 1980 released on “The First Three EP’s.”

Well, now deep in my heart baby I know that you care,
Deep in my heart, babe, the feelin’ is there,
‘Cause I got somethin’ money can’t buy,
I got somethin’ that you oughta try,
I got love, love, I said love, love,
I got love, baby.
Well, I can tell by your smile what you wanna do,
I can see in your eyes you got the feeling, too.
So come on, baby, it’s time to move,
‘Cause I’ve got somethin’ that’s a stone groove,
I got love, love, oh love, sweet love,
I got love, baby.
Well, now deep in my heart baby I know that you care,
Deep in my heart, baby, the feelin’ is there,
‘Cause I got somethin’ money can’t buy,
I got somethin’ that you oughta try,
I got love, love, I said love,
Sweet love, love, yeah!

Country Joe Fish Woodstock

Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine

From “Electric Music For The Mind And Body” written by Joe McDonald. it had been released as a single. It only made it to #98. According to the Vancouver Pop Music site, “ It was a psychedelic song about a reclusive, intense, esoteric woman who is unpredictable and obsessed with death. The song’s abstract lyrical content caught on in Vancouver and the song climbed to #5.”

She hides in an attic concealed on a shelf
Behind volumes of literature based on herself
And runs across the pages like some tiny elf
Knowing that it’s hard to find
Stuff way back in her mind
Winds up spending all of her time
Trying to memorize every line
Sweet Lorraine, ah sweet Lorraine

Sweet lady of death wants me to die
So she can come sit by my bedside and sigh
And wipe away the tears from all my friends eyes
Then softly she will explain
Just exactly who was to blame
For causing me to go insane
And finally blow out my brain
Sweet Lorraine, ah sweet Lorraine

Well you know that it’s a shame and a pity
You were raised up in the city
And you never learned nothing ’bout country ways
Ah ’bout country ways

The joy of life she dresses in black
With celestial secrets engraved in her back
And her face keeps flashing that she’s got the knack
But you know when you look into her eyes
All she’s learned she’s had to memorize
And the only way you’ll ever get her high
Is to let her do her thing and then watch you die
Sweet Lorraine, ah sweet Lorraine

Now she’s the one who gives us all those magical things
And reads us stories out of the I Ching
Then she passes out a whole new basket of rings
That when you put on your hand
Makes you one of the Angel Band
And gives you the power to be a man
But what it does for her you never quite understand
Sweet Lorraine, ah sweet Lorraine

Well you know that it’s a shame and a pity
You were raised up in the city
And you never learned nothing ’bout country ways
Oh ’bout country ways, oh ’bout country ways
Yeah about country ways, oh country ways …

Country Joe Fish Woodstock

Sing, Sing, Sing

The band recorded the album in January 1970. Vanguard released the album in May 1970.

Written by Barry Melton, the song appeared on their CJ Fish album.

Open my eyes i’ve been dreaming,
Open my eyes i’ve been dreaming,
After all this time it seems so strange;
I woke up today and changed my way of living.
Sing, sing, sing,
Sing, sing, sing,
Sing me a love song,
Sing me a love song.
Last night while lying in our bed
Was you who turned to me and said:
“Is it really me you love?
Tell me what you’re thinking of!
Are you thinking thoughts of loving me?”
My love for you is something warm,
Like silver drops of laughter
Giving life and taking form
Dreaming dreams of unborn
Children by our side.
Open my mind i’ve been sleeping
Open my mind i’ve been sleeping
After all this time it seems so strange;
I woke up today and changed my way of living.
Sing, sing, sing (sing, sing, sing)
Sing, sing, sing (sing me a love song)
Sing, sing, sing (sing me a love song)

Country Joe Fish Woodstock

Summer Dresses

Apparently this was the only time the band played this song and I cannot find who wrote it. One can guess it was McDonald, but…

Girls in their summer dresses you know they’re lookin’ fine

Couples walkin’ hand in hand havin’ a good time.

Everybody’s smilin’ it seems like a dream

Everybody’s groovin’ you know what I mean

Let’s get it together, come on and beat the heat

Summer is the time for dancin’ in the street.

Mama Papa told me sister brother, too

Everybody’s dancin’ they know what to do

Now’s the time for livin’ we won’t hesitate…

Country Joe Fish Woodstock

Friend, Lover, Woman, Wife

Country Joe Fish Woodstock

This song appeared on a McDonald 1970 solo album called Tonight I’m Singing Just For You.

The song is unusual in that no band member wrote this song.  Well-known singer songwriter Mac Davis did. Davis would later be a Songwriters Hall of Fame, a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, a Texas Country Music Hall of Fame,  and Georgia Music Hall of Fame inductee as well as a recipient of the BMI Icon AwardMac Davis did.

Well, she’s a friend, she’s a lover,
She’s a woman, she’s a wife,
She’s the answer to the prayer that every lonely man dreams of.
She’s a temptress, she’s a lady,
She’s the mother of my baby
And I thank God that I’m the lucky man she loves.
Sometimes I lie awake and watch her sleeping
And I just want to bust and love drops fill my eyes
I wonder what she’d think if she woke up and caught me weeping,
‘Cause daddy’s heroes ain’t supposed to cry.
You know the morning always seems to catch us laughing,
We got the baby in the bed between us safe and warm.
And I thank the Lord above for all the good times I’m having
Wrapped up in my woman’s loving arms.
‘Cause she’s a friend, she’s a lover,
She’s a woman, she’s a wife,
She’s the answer to the prayer that every lonely man dreams of.
She’s a temptress, she’s a lady,
She’s the mother of my baby
And I thank God that I’m the lucky man she loves.
When the load gets heavy on my shoulders
I can’t keep the pace and I need a place to hide,
I run home to my own little world and take her in my arms and hold her
And I soon forget that there’s another world outside.
Well, she’s a friend, she’s a lover,
She’s a woman, she’s a wife,
She’s the answer to the prayer that every lonely man dreams of.
She’s a temptress, she’s a lady,
She’s the mother of my baby
And I thank God that I’m the lucky man she loves.
Country Joe Fish Woodstock

Silver and Gold

Also from “C. J. Fish” (1970) by Joe McDonald

Dress my baby in silver and
Dress my baby in silver and
Dress my baby in silver and gold
Now, now, now, now, now.
Rubies, sapphires and diamonds
Rubies, sapphires and diamonds
Rubies, sapphires and diamonds on her hands
Now, now, now, now, now.
She don’t never tell me lies
She don’t go with other guys
She just wants to keep me high
Oh my baby drives me crazy.
Oh my baby drives me crazy.
Country Joe Fish Woodstock

Maria

Country Joe Fish Woodstock
From their then most recent album. Here We Go Again had been recorded in from January to March 1969 and Vanguard released it in July

From “Here We Are Again” (1969) by Joe McDonald.

Maria, I’m growing so tired of fighting this war,
Maria, I feel like I just can’t go on anymore.
The sounds we make as they’re dying
Hearing their screams and their crying
The children, their eyes are weeping
We filled them with pain.
You know the reason I joined up to fight in this war.
You know the reason I refuse to fight anymore.
Maria, please help me, I feel like I’m going insane.
Maria, at night in my dreams I keep calling your name.
After the battle is over
And I am just another soldier
Maria, I’m longing to hold you again in my arms.
You know the reason I joined up to fight in this war.
You know the reason I refuse to fight anymore.
Country Joe Fish Woodstock

The Love Machine

From “C. J. Fish” (1970) by Barry Melton

In the middle of the daytime, in the middle of the night
Comes a new kind of engine from way out of sight.
She’s good looking, and her lines are mighty clean
The name of that engine is the Love Machine.
Put some fuel in her tender and turn up the steam,
You can hear, you can hear that whistle scream.
You can see her coming on down the track,
She’ll send little shivers up and down your back.
I know you’ve heard of old ninety-nine
Perhaps the red caboose
But they will all be left behind
When the Love Machine gets loose.
In the middle of the daytime, in the middle of the night
Comes a new kind of engine from way out of sight.
Now she’s good-looking and her lines are mighty clean,
And the name of that engine is the Love Machine
And the name of that engine is the Love Machine.
I know you’ve heard of old ninety-nine
Perhaps the red caboose
But they will all be left behind
When the Love Machine gets loose
When the Love Machine gets loose.
Now people I’m talking about love
And I’m talking about a machine yeah, huh!
It’s a clean machine and a fine machine
When that Love Machine gets loose
When that Love Machine gets loose
I’m gonna get loose too, yeah.
Country Joe Fish Woodstock
Ever Since You Told Me That You Love Me (I’m a Nut)

Sung a capella by Mr Memphis Mark Kapner, this was the B-side of Tiny Tim‘s wildly successful, Tip-Toe Thru’ the Tulips With me. Written by Jean SchwartzGrant Clarke & Edgar Leslie 

I’ve got to see a doctor
I’ve got to see a doctor
Cause there’s something wrong with me
What can it be?
What can it be?

I know it isn’t indigestion
It isn’t indigestion
It’s just my poor old brain
It feels so queer
Since you’ve been near, dear!

Ever since you told me that you loved me
I’m a nut, I’m a nut!
Ever since you said these words, sweetheart
I’m a bug, I’m a bug!

Can’t sleep nights, can’t even eat
Something’s wrong with both my feet
I bump into people on the street
Like a fool
Like a fool
Like an awful fool

Ever said you said you’d like to kiss me
I’m a bug, I’m a bug
Darling, I’m as happy as can be
Oh, can’t you see?

I lie awake all evening
’til the dawn begins to peep
The druggist gave me something
But I can’t begin to sleep
Ever since you told me that you loved me!

The song ends with the band briefly launching into an extremely loud and heavy rock riff.

Country Joe Fish Woodstock

Crystal Blues

From “Here We Are Again” (1969) by Joe McDonald. Continuing the loud guitar motiff…

She told me that she loved me,
She said she’d make my house a home.
She told me that she loved me,
Oh she said she’d make my house a happy home,
Ah, but living with that woman now
Yeah, it’s just like living all alone
Oh, living all alone,
Yeah, living all alone.
You know i love you baby,
Oh, you know that i tried to be your man oh,
Man yeah, i tried so hard to be your man.
You know i love you baby,
You know that i tried so hard to be your man,
But your heart has turned to stone, girl.
There’s nothing but the devil crawling through your veins.
Ah, play the blues, come on.
Ah, crystal’s got my woman,
Ah, dope is driving her insane, yeah
Dope is driving her insane, yeah
Dope is driving her insane.
Crystal’s got my woman,
Ah, dope is driving her insane, yeah.
She used to be so pretty,
Now she can’t remember her own name,
Now she can’t remember her own name

Country Joe Fish Woodstock

Rock & Soul Music (Reprise)

Bookending their opening song, this time the band jams for 13 plus minutes. Here are the approximate lyrics.

We’d like to take this opportunity now to play you a little thing that we learned from Mr. James Brown the King of soul music. Now this ain’t soul music, mind you, this is rock music. But it’s got soul to it, if you can dig that. And now the band would like to play a new riff they just learned, we call a sockin’-it-to-you riff. And it-uh goes something like this. Alright are you ready boys? Let me hear you do it one time just once c’mon
Huh! Ah that’s it, do it again! Huh! Oh come on! Oh it feels so good, do it again! Alright, come on! Huh! One more time, come on! Huh! Now let me hear you do it two times if you can. Huh huh! Alright, that’s good, do it again! Huh uh.
Hmm alright, come on. Huh.
Oh yeah, do it again now. Huh uh.
Feels so good, once more! Huh uh. Oh let me hear you do it three times now, huh! Ah yeah, come on! Alright! Four times now! Ahhhh! come on now. Oh, when you hold me, ah
Oh, when you kiss me
Oh, when you love me
It’s alright, outasite, Ahhh! you know that you’re just d-d-d-d-d-dynamite! Huh! I guess you’ve heard all about rock and roll, You’ve heard about the music that they call soul.
Well, I’m here to tell you what I’ve been told ’bout the brand new music called the rock

Country Joe Fish Woodstock

“Fish” Cheer > I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag

The third time the song was done that weekend. “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die” (1967) written by Joe McDonald

Give me an F
Give me an U
Give me an C
Give me an K

What’s that spell?
Fish!
What’s that spell?
FUCK
What’s that spell?
FUCK

Yeah, come on all of you big strong men
Uncle Sam needs your help again
He’s got himself in a terrible jam

Way down yonder in Vietnam
So put down your books, pick up a gun
Gonna have a whole lot of fun

[Chorus]
And it’s 1, 2, 3
What are we fighting for?

Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn
Next stop is Vietnam
And it’s 5, 6, 7
Open up the pearly gates
Well, ain’t no time to wonder why
Whoopee!
We’re all going to die

Well come on generals let’s move fast
Your big chance has come at last
Gotta go out, get those reds
The only good commie is the one that’s dead

And you know that peace could only be won
When we’ve blown them all to kingdom come

[Chorus]

Well come on Wall Street don’t move slow
Why man, this is war-a-go-go
There’s plenty good money to be made
By supplying the Army with the tools of the trade

Just hope and pray that if they drop the bomb
They drop it on the Viet Cong

[Chorus]

Well come on mothers throughout the land
Pack your boys off to Vietnam

Come on fathers don’t hesitate
Send them off before it’s too late

Be the first one on your block
To have your boy come home in a box

[Chorus]

Country Joe Fish Woodstock