Lee Oswald

by Matthew Gordon, 1999

Click here to play Real Audio file and hear the song!

Performed by

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Paul Pluta

Sandy Pluta

Matthew Gordon

Bass, Vocal

Dobro, Vocal

Lead Vocal, Guitar, Mandolin 

Photos by Scott Canouse

This song was adapted from a 1927 song by Kelly Harrell called "Charles Giteau", found on Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music.  "Charles Giteau" was written from the perspective of the assassin of President  James Garfield. In fact, according to Smith, the song is also alleged to have been written by Giteau himself, who supposedly sang it to visitors in his death cell. 

Matthew's adaptation of this classic folk song promotes his own pet theory of the John F. Kennedy assassination.  In Matthew's theory, Lee Oswald is portrayed as a kind of bumbling, misguided Oliver-North-style anticommunist U.S. patriot who was framed for the JFK assassination by his compatriots, while they were all in the midst of implementing a secret CIA plan for the assassination of Fidel Castro.  The beauty of this theory is that it helps explain:

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the apparent conflicts between Oswald's involvement in both the anticommunist movements (in private and in secret) and the communist movements (in public, as a front to gain entrance into Cuba for the assassination of Castro);

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Oswald's suspicious actions as a defector to Russia, where he seems to have failed miserably as a spy.  His actions have been linked to the Francis Gary Powers U2 debacle- he may have provided info on the U2 spy plane to the Russians in an attempt to gain favor and have greater access to Russian secrets;

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Oswald's strange actions in Mexico City trying to obtain a visa to travel to Cuba in the month before the JFK assassination;

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Oswald's links to the Italian mail-order rifle, which was to be used in the Castro killing (note his written entry to George DeMohrenschildt on the back of one of the (contested) backyard rifle photos "Killer of Fascists, Ha ha ha!");

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Oswald's links to both the rogue elements within the CIA such as David Ferrie, who he met while a teenager in the Civil Air Patrol, and the New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello, who David Ferrie worked for.  David Ferrie was the likely link between the Mafia, the CIA, and the anti-Castro Cubans for the secret plots to kill Castro.  He also was likely heavily involved in the abortive Bay of Pigs invasion, for which he and his co-conspirators developed an intense bitterness and hatred towards Kennedy;

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the long-lasting shroud of secrecy around Oswald's actions, honored even by Oswald while in police custody, as well as by the Warren Commission, to protect the US government from the divulgence of the secret CIA assassination plots.

The lyrics:

Come all ye proud Americans wherever you may be
And hear a sad true story that happened here to me
I was down at the book depot when I began to see my fate
But Providence being against me, it proved to be too late

I knew I had been set up, I tried to let them know
The police all against me, it proved to make no show
Marcello passed his sentence, Jack Ruby was his man
The 24th of November, to die I was condemned

My name is Lee Oswald, my name I'll never deny
To leave my aged mother to sorrow and to die
But little did I think while in my youthful bloom
My country would abandon me to meet my fatal doom

My wife she came in prison to bid farewell to me
she threw her arms around me, she wept most bitterly
She said "My loving husband, they tell me you must die
For the murder of John F. Kennedy, please tell me it's a lie"

I wished that I could tell her, I wished I could explain
The secrets of my double life to take away her pain
How I had been an agent for the CIA
When I had been in Russia for the USA

I'd been a bitter failure, they sent me back home well
To meet with David Ferrie to try to kill Fidel
We were all ready to do it, the guns and men were sent
But instead of killing Castro, they killed the President

My name is Lee Oswald, my name I'll never deny
To leave my aged mother to sorrow and to die
But little did I think while in my youthful bloom
My comrades they would set me up to meet my fatal doom

Now Ferrie and Marcello, Hoover and Nixon too
They hated JFK, for different reasons true
So when he came to Dallas they saw opportunity
To turn the guns on Kennedy and put the blame on me

Now they're walking me through prison to bid you all adieu
Jack Ruby now is waiting, it's 11:22
My story can't be told, the people would not see
But when I'm dead and buried, dear Lord remember me

My name is Lee Oswald, my name I'll never deny
To leave my aged mother to sorrow and to die
But little did I think while in my youthful bloom
My country would abandon me to meet my fatal doom
My country would abandon me to meet my fatal doom

 

 


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