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Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security

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To Russia With Care: Harold Weakley [1966]

A bizarre blue collar country song in which the song's fed up narrator packs a pinko woman into a box to send her to the Soviet Union. This is the kind of song that appealed to the right-wing voting block that Richard Nixon would later lovingly refer to as 'The Silent Majority.'

Harold Weakley was a native of Nashville, Tennessee who was born into a musical family. His mother played guitar and his father was a fiddler. He started his career in music as a vocalist for Big Jeff and the Radio Playboys on WLAC radio in Nashville. When the Radio Playboys’ drummer quit the band, Weakley filled in and would continue playing the drums for the rest of his career. In the late 1950s, Billy Walker took Weakley to the Grand Ole Opry as part of his band. Up until that point, Weakley had maintained a day job at a manufacturing company to supplement the income he earned from playing music. In 1958 he became a staff drummer with the Opry and also pursued a singing career, recording for Columbia Records and the Hilltop label.

During Weakley’s years with the Opry band, he took on administrative duties such as handing out chord charts, completing Musicians’ Union paperwork, even filing the payroll. He also served as an announcer, especially on the Goo Goo Cluster candy bar commercials with Opry announcer Hairl Hensley.

Weakley died of cancer on July 25, 1990 at the age of 60.


LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
To Russia With Care: Harold Weakley [1966]

Get in the box and shut your mouth,
I’m shippin’ you far away
There’s a book inside on Kodiak dances
And a Commie flag to wave
You say “we” when you mean “me”,
So I reckon Red’ll let you stay
Inside of a year you’ll be Premier
‘Cause you’re seein’ things their way

“To Russia with care” the address reads,
They’re needin’ propaganda like you
A talkin’ machine a-spoutin’ pretty dreams
That never, never do come true
I’m shippin’ you by air to Russia with care,
You don’t fit the USA
Gal, I’ve had it, now Moscow gets it,
You’ll turn all the red hair gray

Now God bless the nails, I didn’t bend over
And let me hear a little moan
I wanted you to know what a pain in the side
You’ve been in mine so long
Well you’re a whiz, the best there is
At shakin’ a workin’ man down
Best comrade the Kremlin’s had
Since the bald-headed bear was around

“To Russia with care” the address reads,
They’re needin’ propaganda like you
A talkin’ machine a-spoutin’ pretty dreams
That never, never do come true
I’m shippin’ you by air to Russia with care,
You don’t fit the USA
Gal, I’ve had it, now Moscow gets it,
Go turn all the red hair gray

Now here’s your letter of recommendation
I’m sendin’ to the Party there,
Give her a chance at your cold war
She can freeze a polar bear’s hair.
I’m rightin’ a mistake the Red storm made
In a blizzard up over Nome
He brought you here and you brought me tears
When Russia should of been your home

“To Russia with care” the address reads,
They’re needin’ propaganda like you
A talkin’ machine a-spoutin’ pretty dreams
That never, never do come true
I’m shippin’ you by air to Russia with care,
You don’t fit the USA
Gal, I’ve had it, now Moscow gets it,
Go turn all their red hair gray

Harold Weakley [1966]
To Russia With Care
(G. Crysler)
Columbia 4-43841

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