Gene Brabender gets the assist: Way back when, it was Merle Haggard who managed to corner the eternal "love it or leave it" market.
He'd already scored with Okie From Muskogee, a song which captured white working-class disdain for coastal elites. Then, along came The Fightin' Side of Me.
At the time, the advice was offered to pot-smokin' hippies, not to four women of color:
I hear people talkin' badAnthropologically speaking, the late Jim Bouton captured this part of the human mind in his iconic book, Ball Four.
About the way we have to live here in this country
Harpin' on the wars we fight
An' gripin' about the way things oughta be.
I don't mind 'em switchin' sides,
And standin' up for things they believe in.
But when they're runnin' down my country, man,
They're walkin' on the fightin' side of me.
Yeah, walkin' on the fightin' side of me.
Runnin' down the way of life
Our fightin' men have fought and died to keep.
If you don't love it, leave it!
Let this song that I'm singin' be a warnin'.
When you're runnin' down our country, man,
You're walkin' on the fightin' side of me.
Out in the bullpen, Bouton got in a pointless debate with Gene Brabender, a big raw-boned right-hander.
Finally, Brabender had had enough. As quoted by Bouton, he flawlessly expressed one key part of the human condition:
"Where I come from, we just talk for a little while. After that we start to hit."
So said the late Gene Brabender. So pretty much say we all.