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Movie Mom

The Original “Please Mr. Kennedy” Song

posted by Nell Minow

My favorite movie of 2013 is “Inside Llewyn Davis,” and I love the scene where the very serious folksinger title character (Oscar Isaac) gets hired as a studio musician to perform a silly novelty song. Justin Timberlake plays the musician who wrote the song, “Please Mr. Kennedy.” It’s about a guy who says he does not want to be sent into space. This was, of course, the early days of the space race, with Alan Shepard the first American and second person to go up in a space capsule in 1961, the year this movie takes place.

There was a real “Please Mr. Kennedy” song back in the 60’s, a similar theme, but it was about not wanting to be sent to Vietnam. This was long before the angry protests of the late-60’s anti-war movement, with much more powerful songs like the “Feel-Like-I’m-Fixing-to-Die Rag” sung by Country Joe and the Fish. This was just a light-hearted song from Mickey Woods. Here it is:

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