The Kingfish (Huey Long)

Notes on the song lyrics

I had the music prepared and the chorus written for this tune, but was never sure what to do with the verse. I had some lyrics prepared for a verse and had in mind a speaking part, but nothing seemed to work. I was searching the web for speeches about wealth distribution and struck gold in the form of Huey Long.

Huey Long was the Governor of Louisiana and a US Senator. There is no doubt that Huey had his faults, but he did a hell of a lot of good for the working man. He was also a powerful speaker and had fantastic policies on wealth distribution that, for me, are hard to argue with. He had a saying that "Everyman should be king, but no one should wear a crown".

I used Huey's speeches because they fit and apply so well, but that is not to say it is a problem only related to the US. The same situation equally applies in so many countries across the world, but Huey puts it across so powerfully. The chorus lyrics 'It's just a matter of distribution, nothing new', fit hand in glove the mesmeric extracts from his speeches; not least as these are speeches that Huey made in the 1930's and yet they are alarmingly accurate today - some 80 years later.

Huey Long was sadly assassinated at the age of 42, but seems to have been strangely airbrushed form American and world history. I just wish there was one politician out there now with similar views and policies - to say nothing of charisma. The final words here are a quote from Huey "I'm for the poor man - all poor men, black and white, they all gotta have a chance. They gotta have a home, a job and a decent education for their children. 'Every man is a king' - that's my slogan".

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(Extracts from Huey Long speeches)
"According to the tables that we have assembled,
It is our estimate, that 4% of the American people,
Own 85% of the wealth of America."

"We've tried the Republican Party,
We've tried the Democratic Party,
And unfortunately whenever we get into power
With either one of these parties,
We find that the one prime need of our people,
The redistribution of wealth,
So that none would be too poor and none would be too rich,
Is always neglected by the party that is in power."

"Before we declared ourselves to anybody, for President of the United States,
We saw to it that that man declared himself in favour of the redistribution of wealth."

No problem, we can see this through,
It's just a matter of distribution,
Nothing new.
No problem, we can see this through,
It's just a matter of distribution,
Nothing new.

(Extracts from Huey Long Speeches)
"How many men ever went to a barbecue?
And would let one man take off the table what's intended for nine-tenths of the people to eat?
The only way you are ever going to be able to feed the balance of the people is to make that man come and bring back some of the grub he ain't got no business with."
"....say, 'Come back here. Put that stuff back on this table that you took away from here that you don't need.
Leave something else for the American people to consume.
And that's the truth"


(Extracts from Huey Long Speeches)
"Then we start from the bottom,
Up to 25, or more, million American families shall have,
A homestead, a home.

"We say to Americans, none shall be too big, none shall be too poor,
None shall work too much, none shall be idle,
No luxurious mansions empty,
None walking the streets.
None impoverished,
None in war,
Sharing the fruits of the land
Not for the favourite few
Not to satisfy greed."


(Extract from speech from a critic of Huey Long)

(Extract from Huey Long Speech)
"If you allow a big man to have billions, then all of us can't have anything else"


The track and video is featured on the official Huey Long website, in the Share Your Stories section.

And also the Spanish website Huayno where it is listed the number 1 song in the Best Musical List of 2017 (along with 3 other Red Eye tracks in the top 20 - 'Little England' at number 6, 'Everything but the Boy' at number 7 and 'Rhythm' at number 13), with the following comment on The Kingfish (Huey Long), translated as:
"Listen to The Kingfish Huey Long by Red Eye ... part of the Best Musical List of 2017 ... The Kingfish Huey Long by Red Eye my favourite artist ... his music and musical performances are at a high level".