The “Bluesologist”: H20 Gate Blues



[note: blue (underlined) highlighted words or phrases link to information sources.]


I’m back! Marking this next step in my literary evolution will be a short series spotlighting works from the “Mind of Gil Scott-Heron”. I was introduced to Gil in the early eighties by my roommate and best friend, at Lackland Air Force Base, Louis Davis from Philly. Gil Scott Heron was an American soul and jazz poet, musician, and author, known primarily for his work as a spoken-word performer in the 1970s and 1980s. Reflecting on the words from the “mind of Gil Scott-Heron” has prompted me to add to the list of Gil’s many gifts, the gift of prophecy. Gil’s own term for himself was, “Bluesologist”, which he defined as “a scientist who is concerned with the origin of the blues”.



As you will see, many of the social issues that were illuminated by the light of Mr. Scott-Heron’s keen insight, are still relevant today. I’ve expanded on some of Gil’s political and social commentary with thoughts from my own mind—as incomparably less acute than Gil’s as it might be. The first selection is called, H20 GATE BLUES from his 1974 album, WINTER IN AMERICA.



[For the “younger” readers, the album or LP (long-playing record) was the primary recording medium for music from the 1960’s thru the mid-1970’s. The album died in the 1990’s along with its contemporaries; cassette tapes and 8-track tapes. They were replaced by peer-to-peer downloading, CD’s, and MP3.]



By Gil Scott-Heron


This here, this is, this is gonna be a blues number, but, first, I wanna do a little bit of background on the Blues and say what it is.

Like, there are six cardinal colors, and colors have always come to signify more than simply that particular shade, like redneck or got the blues.

That’s where you apply colors to something else, you know, to come up with what it is you’re trying to say.

So, there are six cardinal colors: yellow, red, orange, green, blue, and purple, and there are 3,000 shades.

If you take these 3,000 shades and divide them by 6, you will come up with 500; meaning there are at least 500 shades of the blues.

For example, there is the I-ain’t-got-me-no-money blues.

There is the I-ain’t-got-me-no-woman blues.

There is the I-ain’t-got-me-no-money-and-I-ain’t-got-me-no-woman, which is the double blues!

For years, it was thought that black people were the only ones who could get the blues so, the blues hadn’t come into no international type of fame (Had a corner on the market).

But, lately, we done had Frank Rizzo with the Lie Detector Blues.


[Frank Rizzo was the allegedly racist Philadelphia police commissioner from 1968 to 1971 and mayor of Philadelphia from 1972 to 1980.]


We done had the United States government talking ‘bout the Energy Crisis Blues.

And we gonna dedicate this next poem here to Spearhead X.


[Spearhead X is a nickname for Spiro Agnew, President Richard Nixon’s Vice-President who resigned in disgrace as a result of his involvement in Watergate.]


The Ex-Second in Command in terms of this country (He got the blues), and the poem is called “H2O-G-A-T-E Blues”.

And if H2O is still water, and G-A-T-E is still gate what we’re getting ready to deal on is the Watergate Blues.

(Rated X!)

Let me see if I can dial this number right quick…

*Click! Whirrr! Click!*

“I’m sorry, the government you have elected is inoperative…Click…inoperative.”



Just how blind will America be?

The world is on the edge of its seat.

Defeat on the horizon. Very surprising that we all

Could see the plot and still could not…

Let me do that part again.


Just how blind will America be? (There ain’t no telling)

The world is on the edge of its seat.

Defeat on the horizon. Very surprising that we all

Could see the plot and claimed that we could not… (Alright)


Just how blind, America?

Just as Vietnam exploded in the rice, snap, crackle, and pop

Could not stop people determined to be free.

Just how blind will America be?


The shock of a Vietnam defeat sent Republican donkeys

Scurrying down on Wall Street.

And when the roll was called it was:

Pepsi-Cola and Phillips 66, Boeing, Dow, and Lockheed.

Ask them what they’re fighting for and they’ll never mention the economics of war.

Ecological Warfare—above all else, destroy the land!

If we can’t break the Asian will, we’ll bomb the dikes and starve the man!



The international Jekyll and Hyde.

The land of a thousand disguises

Sneaks up on you but rarely surprises (Yeah!)

Plundering the Asian countryside

In the name of Fu Man Tu!


Afraid of shoeless, undernourished Cambodians,

While we strike big wheat bargains with Russia;

Our nuclear enemy. Just how blind, America?


[Hmmm…sound familiar?]


But tell me: who was around where Hale Boggs died?

And what was the cause of LBJ’s untimely demise?

And what really happened to J. Edgar Hoover?


[J. Edgar Hoover was the 1ST Director of the FBI. He was later accused of “abuse of power”. (Sound familiar?) and was also alleged to be a cross-dresser.]


The king is proud of Patrick Gray,

While America’s faith is drowning

Beneath that cesspool: Watergate. (Yeah!)


[L. Patrick Gray was Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from May 2, 1972, to April 27, 1973. During this time, the FBI was in charge of the initial investigation into the burglaries that sparked the Watergate scandal, which eventually led to the resignation of President Nixon.]


How long will the citizens sit and wait?

It’s looking like Europe in ’38.

Did they move to stop Hitler before it was too late? (No)

How long, America, before the consequences of

Keeping the school systems segregated.

Allowing the press to be intimidated.

Watching the price of everything soar,

And hearing complaints ‘cause the rich want more? (Alright!)

It seems that Macbeth, and not his lady, went mad.

We’ve let him eliminate the whole middle class.

The dollar’s the only thing we can’t inflate,

While the poor go on without a new minimum wage.

But what really happened to J Edgar Hoover?

The king is proud of Patrick Gray.

And there are those who say America’s faith is drowning

Beneath that cesspool: Watergate.



How much more evidence do the citizens need

That the election was sabotaged by trickery and greed?

And, if this is so, and who we got didn’t win!

Let’s do the whole goddamn election over again! (Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!)


[Remember, this was the 1970’s, not 2017 nor 2000 with George W. Bush-vs-Al Gore.]



The obvious key to the whole charade,

Would be to run down all of the games they played:

Remember Dita Beard and ITT, the slaughter of Attica.


[In the case of Dita Beard and ITT, International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT), allegedly, offers the Nixon administration $400,000 to finance the GOP’s 1972 national convention in San Diego.]

The C.I.A. in Chile knowing nothing about Allende at this time.

In the past, as I recollect, Augusta Georgia.

The nomination of Supreme Court Jesters to head off the tapes.

William Calley’s Executive Interference in the image of John Wayne.

Kent State, Jackson State, Southern Louisiana; hundreds of unauthorized bombing raids.

The chaining and gagging of Bobby Seale.

Somebody tell these Maryland Governors to be for real!


[Bobby Seale was the former chairman of the Black Panther Party.]



We recall all of these events just to prove (Yeah!)

The Waterbuggers in the Watergate wasn’t no news!

The thing that seems to justify all of our fears,

Is that all of this went down in the last five years.

But tell me, what really happened to J. Edgar Hoover?

The king is proud of Patrick Gray.

While America’s faith is drowning

Beneath that cesspool: Watergate



We leave America to ponder the image of justice from its new wave of leaders: Frank Rizzo, the high school graduate Mayor of Philadelphia, whose ignorance is surpassed only by those who voted for him (Hahahaha); Richard Daley, imperial Napoleonic Mayor of Chicago who took over from Al Capone and continues to implement the same tactics; George Wallace; Lester Maddawg; Strom Thurmond, Ronald Reagan; an almost endless list that won’t be missed when at last America is purged (Yeah! Alright!)



And the silent White House with the James Brothers once in command.

But see the sauerkraut Mafia men deserting the sinking White House ship and…

their main mindless, megalomaniac Ahab.



McCord has blown. Mitchell has blown. No tap on my telephone.

McCord has blown. Mitchell has blown. No tap on my telephone.

Halderman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell, and Dean.

It follows a pattern if you dig what I mean.

Halderman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell, and Dean.

It follows a pattern if you dig what I mean.


[McCord and Mitchell were co-conspirators in the Watergate scandal. Halderman, Ehrlichman, and Dean were Nixon’s aides and counselors who he threw under the bus to save his own ass.]


And what are we left with now? Bumper stickers that say “Free the Watergate 500”?

Spy movies of the same name with a cast of thousands?

And that ominous phrase that: if Nixon knew, Ag’ knew! (Check it out!)


[“Ag’ knew is a reference to Vice-President Spiro Agnew.]


But Ag’ didn’t knew enough to stay out of jail!

What really happened to J. Edgar Hoover?

The king is proud of Patrick Gray,

And there are those who swear they’ve seen King Richard. (Who? Who? Who?)

King Richard (Who?), King Richard! (Who?)

King Richard (Who?), King Richard! (Who?)

King Richard (Who?), King Richard, King Richard, King Richard (Yeah!)

Beneath that cesspool: Watergate.


Four more years.

Four more years.

Four more years.

Four more years of that [shit]?


Listen to the recording by clicking, H20 GATE BLUES



This has been ME


From The BROWN Report




The Time Tunnel’s  MUSIC






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