John Lennon – Gimme Some Truth ——— Songs that reference Richard Nixon

Since I blog about the seventies a bunch I thought this reference in songs would fit the loose format I have here…songs that reference Mr. Richard Milhous Nixon. This should be fun. We will start with this John Lennon song “Gimme Some Truth.” In this case “tricky dicky” will work as a reference.

No short-haired, yellow-bellied, Son of tricky dicky’s, Gonna mother hubbard soft soap me, With just a pocket full of hopes, Money for dope, money for rope

Don’t hold back John…tell us how you really feel. John was working on this song during the Let It Be sessions. He would record it two years later and it would be on the Imagine album. Lennon’s contempt for politicians came through rather well on this song.

George Harrison played guitar on this song. Their old friend from Germany Klaus Voormann (Bass player and Graphic Artist) played bass and the great Nicky Hopkins, who was on practically everyone’s records played the piano. Alan White who later joined Yes played drums. It was recorded at Ascot Sound Studios, Lennon’s recording studio at his Tittenhurst Park home, in May 1971.

John Lennon 1968

“I think our society is run by insane people for insane objectives, and I think that’s what I sussed when I was 16 and 12, way down the line. But, I expressed it differently all through my life. It’s the same thing I’m expressing all the time, but now I can put it into that sentence that I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends. If anybody can put on paper what our government, and the American government and the Russian, Chinese, what they are actually trying to do and what they think they’re doing… I’d be very pleased to know what they think they’re doing, I think they’re all insane!”

From Songfacts

There is a book written by Jon Wiener of the same title revealing a compilation of FBI files on Lennon, who was investigated as a drug user and radical. The FBI feared Lennon would disrupt the Republican National Convention in 1972.

Lennon referred to President Richard Nixon in this song as “trick-dicky,” a nickname that became popular during the Watergate hearings. There are many lyrical references to politicians as deceiving, slick, and cowardly characters.

Cover-ups such as the My Lai massacre in Vietnam frustrated Lennon into writing this song, demanding simple truth.

Mother Hubbard in the lyrics refer to the poem, which is itself, a cover-up:
“Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor doggie a bone,
When she got there
The cupboard was bare
So the poor little doggie had none”
The Old Mother Hubbard referred to in this rhyme’s words allude to the famous Cardinal Wolsey. Cardinal Thomas Wolsey was the most important statesman and churchman of the Tudor history period in 16th century England. Cardinal Wolsey proved to be a faithful servant but displeased the King, Henry VIII, by failing to facilitate the King’s divorce from Queen Katherine of Aragon who had been his queen of many years. The reason for seeking the divorce and hence the creation of the Old Mother Hubbard poem was to enable him to marry Anne Boleyn with whom he was passionately in love. In the Old Mother Hubbard song King Henry was the “doggie” and the “bone” refers to the divorce (and not money as many believe) The cupboard relates to the Catholic Church although the subsequent divorce arranged by Thomas Cramner resulted in the break with Rome and the formation of the English Protestant church and the demise of Old Mother Hubbard – Cardinal Wolsey. Another rhyme reputedly relates to Cardinal Wolsey.

“Softsoap” is slang – It alludes to liquid soap, likening its slippery quality to insincere flattery. Its figurative use was first recorded in 1830. “Yellow-bellied” is slang for cowardly.

George Harrison played guitar on this.

Gimme Some Truth

I’m sick and tired of hearing things from
Uptight short sided narrow minded hypocritics
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth
I’ve had enough of reading things
By neurotic psychotic pigheaded politicians
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth

No short-haired, yellow-bellied
Son of tricky dicky’s
Gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocket full of hopes
Money for dope, money for rope

No short-haired, yellow-bellied,
Son of tricky dicky’s
Gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocket full of hopes
Money for dope, money for rope

I’m sick to death of seeing things from
Tight-lipped condescending mama’s little chauvinists
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth
I’ve had enough of watching scenes from
Schizophrenic egocentric paranoiac primadonnas
All I want is the truth just give me some truth

No short-haired, yellow-bellied,
Son of tricky dicky’s
Gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocket full of hopes
It’s money for dope, money for rope

I’m sick to death of hearing things from
Uptight short sided narrow minded hypocritics
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth
I’ve had enough of reading things
By neurotic psychotic pigheaded politicians
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

41 thoughts on “John Lennon – Gimme Some Truth ——— Songs that reference Richard Nixon”

      1. Yes and I think he would have a huge presence on it. He always loved platforms…how much bigger can you get with the whold world watching?

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I can think of two other Nixon ones right off… there were a few that mentioned Reagan and several more inspired by him but not necessarily mentioning his name (eg “Two Tribes” that I wrote about this week) … other than that, there was that Chicago song “Harry Truman” … several likely mention Kennedy directly or indirectly but beyond that, not many presidential references come to mind. Look forward to seeing your list!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yea there are some that just say slang like this one…the next one will be of a modern one. Well modern to me lol…in the 21st century..
        Thanks Dave

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The Vietnam War and Watergate and his nature brought on a lot of hate.. I wonder if there is any songs about the current resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes, it was mentioned this morning about the current resident with Rap and Hip Hop now… I wouldn’t know though.

        Tomorrow ‘s one has a little more sympathetic tone.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Oh, yeah. It’s just not mainstream.

        I remember the music over ‘W’. He was a big target because of 9/11 & Iraq. As wars go, Nixon, at least, didn’t start VN. ‘W’ OWNS Afghanistan & Iraq. Odammit OWNS Libya & Syria. But, you will never hear a bad thing written about him, dare you be accused of being a racist.

        Liked by 3 people

      6. His nature did get him into a lot of trouble…Nixon that is. He didn’t do all bad but Watergate put a seal on it.
        There has been too much war.

        Like

      7. Nixon was no boy scout. He was a weird MF…no doubt. But, he is hardly the poster child for bad Presidents. And, Watergate wasn’t even his doing. All he did was try to cover it up. We’ve had FAR worse since then. LBJ was far worse. He helped kill Kennedy & he owns VN. It never would have been the nightmare that Nixon inherited without him. And, VN would not have been the nightmare it was if Kennedy had survived.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I always wondered about if Kennedy would have lived. I don’t see him keeping it going on and on. Yea I don’t like a lot what I heard about Johnson.

        Like

      9. I am not a fan of Dubya’s or Barry’s- you are right no criticism allowed of Barry. His failures well- the view seems to be ” move along nothing to see here.’

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Surprisingly there aren’t any pop or rock ones that come to mind quickly– haven’t checked out Springsteen’s new album though so … There is a line that fires by in REM’s “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” which sure sounds like Michael staying “battle Trump”, although there’s no concensus on what his lyrics were … but given their politics, it could have been eerily prophetic!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I think he only used Nixon as an obvious one…I’m pretty sure he included all politicians in this one.
      My view on all politicians is pretty bad.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Yea I don’t get into modern at all…that would be Hip Hop, Rap, Country or Heavy Metal…they all depress me the same way… or current politics… which certainly does. I stay away from it.
      The only reason I did this one is because it is history and Pop Culture… I do like a few modern rock bands

      Liked by 2 people

  1. John has it exactly right and nothing has changed since he wrote it. Politicians selling a platform of hope only to give you crumbs enough to either numb through drugs or remove yourself from the equation, while they hoard the rest of the resources to make wars. I think this is my new favorite John Lennon song. Thank you for posting it today.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe he chose the blunt lyrics as a contrast to the usual soapy slime of politicians? John does seem to be the most political of the 4. I don’t like his grandstanding to get attention, but he probably had to get outrageous to get heard. What’s terrifying about modern journalism is that they are afraid to get blunt like this or to cover stories where people are getting blunt.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That is what he said about the peace movement…you had to make a fool of yourself before anyone would listen….
        By FAR he was the most political of the four…not even a contest.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL… Yes I listened also. I have known some people who love it… I respected Karen and hated what happened to her…she had a great voice….but no I need some edge.

      Like

      1. That is one way to describe it! That was their game…they sanitized everything…they were huge though. I guess the time was right for light.

        Liked by 1 person

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