Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I am inquiring about a song played during the Watergate scandal. It outlined the break-in and listed the men involved. The catch line mentioned Erlichmann and Dean.

It got played over and over for a couple of weeks and suddenly just disappeared. I think I read that the Nixon administration put a halt to the playing of the song. Still, it was a very funny song that absolutely no one seems to remember. Do you?
—E.Walker. Lakeland, Fla.

DEAR E.: Besides you and me, there is at least one other person who recalls this tune. Read on:

DEAR JERRY: I am working with three friends on a comedy skit for a party. We would like to stage a routine to the funny '70s song about the four Watergate conspirators, whose names I have forgotten.

The problem is that no one — or at least in the Chicago area — has either the record or the sheet music. It's not so much the music, since I recall the melody, but the words we need. For this I think you may be our only hope. Can you help?
—Lawrence O'Neal, Joliet, Ill.

DEAR LAWRENCE: Yes, but first a political history refresher: the names of the four men are H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, John Newton Mitchell and John Dean.

This cleverly-written 1973 release, titled “Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean” (Mr. G Records 826), is by the CREEP, a goofy acronym for Committee to Rip-off Each and Every Politician. And here are the words you seek:

We're Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean
The way we've been treated is really obscene
To think that a bug worth hardly a shrug
Could end up by getting us tossed in the jug
We all got the gate for no reason or rhyme
You'd think we'd committed some horrible crime
Our minds may be dirty but our hands are clean
We're Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean

We're Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean
Our job was to see that the White House stayed green
We might have had flaws like bending the laws
But God only knows it was for a good cause
There's no power shortage where we were concerned
And what little profit resulted we earned
Four lovelier fellows you never have seen
Than Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean

We're Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean
Our past has been fat but the future looks lean
With backs to the wall we're taking the fall
But damnit we only robbed Pete to pay Paul
Just when we were getting to be well-to-do
The Watergate turned into our Waterloo
And now everybody is out to demean
Poor Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean

Yes we're Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean
We're perfectly willing to spill every bean
We've nothing to hide with God on our side
He knows we were only along for the ride
And so it won't come as a terrible blow
There's one little thing that we think you should know
Whatever we say isn't quite what we mean
We're Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean

Oh yes we're Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean
Things won't be the same when we're gone from the scene
But people will still recall with a thrill
Our sell-out performance on Capitol Hill

It just isn't fair to take all of the blame
When all we were doing was playing the game
Now all of Washington's caught in-between
Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean

IZ ZAT SO? The CREEP's “ Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean” never made the Top 100, though it did spend two weeks Bubbling Under the survey. Considering their more serious problems, I doubt the Nixon administration gave any thought to this record.

One year after its release, the President lifted off from the White House in a helicopter on his way to political exile in California.

The best-known Watergate-inspired hit is by Dickie Goodman, a novelty break-in (an appropriate choice of terms) titled “Watergrate.”

The current Clinton-related problems have of course inspired some novelty recordings, the most amusing so far being “Kenneth Starr Is Coming to Town” — sung to the tune of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”

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