Kinky's History Lesson

Album: Out of All This Blue (2017)

Songfacts®:

  • Kinky in this song is the American author Kinky Friedman, who wrote a collection of essays that was published in 2004 called 'Scuse Me While I Whip This Out: Reflections on Country Singers, Presidents, and Other Troublemakers. Mike Scott of The Waterboys took exception to a section where Friedman was in England, discussing the Gulf War with the natives. Frustrated when Brits criticized America and President George W. Bush, he invoked World War II, calling his critics "crumpet-chomping Neville Chamberlain surrender monkeys." Scott wanted to set Friedman straight, so he did it in this song.

    "If you know anything about the Second World War, you know that Neville Chamberlain actually declared war on Hitler when Germany invaded Poland, and he sent the British expeditionary force to France to fight the Nazis," Scott said in a Songfacts interview. "And so, I took exception to Kinky's, I felt, very stupid, ignorant and arrogant comment, and it found its way into the song. I felt the dude needed a history lesson."
  • The Waterboys recorded this with a country and western sound to emulate Kinky Friedman's style. Friedman is also a songwriter and musician.

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