"I Have The Body Of John Wilkes Booth" as written by and Fallon/sult/maines/gaster....
Like Marlon Brando, but bigger.
You'll find that creature at the bottom of the deep down Susquehanna River.
This one I had stood right on up to me,
Tore out his hook and declared himself a prodigy.
But oh no, fishing ain't what it used to be.
I've seen some bad years, but this one is just killing me.
One little nibble in thirteen years,
I really pack 'em in.
This one I had, I seen it in dreams,
All shacked up with lightning and horizon beams.

Well I bring 'em on up, and then I pack 'em on in
In all the places I've been,
And I swear it's never been like this before,
Least not since 19 and 44.
But today, I made a sick discovery,
Lead box in Sassafras Cove.
Well I brought him on up and then I packed him on in, oh yes,
Now I'm really cashing in.

Wash of the Chesapeake and Appalachian Blue Range,
I have discovered the body of John Wilkes Booth.
Yes, it's true, I have Mr. Booth.
Everybody got to make a living somehow.
Do I hear a million?

Well I bring 'em on up and then I pack 'em on in.


Lyrics submitted by EvanX

"I Have the Body of John Wilkes Booth" as written by

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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I Have The Body Of John Wilkes Booth song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentThe overall meaning to this song seems to me to be someone learning how to profit from a past, shamful action, something that person may not be responsible for, yet still carrys guilt/shame from. I say this because Clutch, especially on the Elephant Riders album, but also on the S/T, play extensivly on North/South dynamics. This is effective because, as marylanders, they reside on the border of America's traditional divide ("in the north they call us rebels, in the south they call us yankees"). I think the fisherman finding Booth's body and selling it symbolizes the south taking a hold of it's greatest shame (in the person of Booth, America's most famous assasian) and saying 'fuck it, I'm not going to keep saying sorry for the past.' It also seems fairly typical of neil that Booth was found on the Susquehanna, part of the traditional south, but not part of the old confederacy.
    SaintJimon June 06, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentFrom Wikipedia...

    An early popularizer of "Booth Escaped" theories was Finis L. Bates who claimed to have met Booth in Granbury, Texas in the 1870s and later to have taken possession of Booth's body after his suicide in Enid, Oklahoma in 1903. He toured the mummified body in carnival sideshows and wrote The Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth (1908) in order to authenticate the mummy.
    Chris Ron February 09, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI love this fucking song!!! This is very possibly my favorite Clutch song. I laughed my ass off the first time I heard the part about Marlon Brando...classic! As far as I can tell this song is about desparation. The guy in the song has been having extremely bad luck and he happens to stumble across something of potential value, in this case the corpse of a notorious assassin. Even though he knows it's fucked up, he puts the body up for auction, knowing that someone will pay good money for it. How wonderfully morbid. I'm sure this song is probably a stab at the music industry or possibly just society in general. It doesn't matter what it's really about anyway because this song just rocks. That's all I have to say about that.
    JohnnyDakotaon January 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think about this song when i'm doing really good drugs
    moonbabyon September 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenta fisherman who discovers the corpse of Lincoln's assassin in the Susquehanna River, and puts it on Ebay (lol)
    JeffKaos71on February 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHAAHAAAAAHHHAAAHAAA. holy ing hell this is a realy funny song i up almost every time i hear it.
    insane metal fanon February 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionGreat song, but the lyrics posted are incomplete.


    Like Marlon Brando, but bigger
    You'll find that creature at the bottom of the deep down Susquehanna River.
    This one I had, it stood right on up to me,
    Tore out its hook and declared itself a prodigy.
    This one I had, it turned bright like the sun
    Twirled (turned?) around three times, and departed with the dove

    But oh, no, fishing ain't what it used to be.
    I seen some bad years, but this one is just killing me.
    One little nibble in thirteen years,
    I really pack 'em in.
    This one I had, I seen it in dreams,
    All shacked up with lightning and horizon beams.

    Well I bring 'em on up, and then I pack 'em all in,
    In all the places I been.
    And I swear, it's never been like this before,
    'least not since 19-and-44.
    But today, I made a sick discovery,
    Lead box in Sassafras cove.
    Well I bring 'em on up, and then I pack 'em all in
    Oh yeah, I'm really cashing in.

    Wash of the Chesapeake and Appalachian Blue Range,
    I have discovered the body of John Wilkes Booth!
    Yes, it's true, I have Mr. Booth.
    Everybody gotta make a livin' somehow...

    Do I hear a million?

    Yeah

    Well, I bring 'em on up, and then I pack 'em all in
    And then I bring 'em on up, and then I pack 'em all in
    Well, I bring 'em on up, and then I pack 'em all in
    And then I bring 'em on up, and then I pack 'em all in

    And then I pack 'em all in
    And then I pack 'em all in
    virtuallypainlesson July 11, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAm I the only one who pictures Less Claypool as the fisherman in this song?
    sublime1amion February 07, 2015   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe first stanza is just a tall fishing tale about the proverbial 'one that got away'. "You should have seen it! It was THIS BIG and it got up in my face, took my hook out of its mouth and said 'Screw you buddy, I'm outta here!'" This stanza is completely separate from the remainder, but it serves to cast doubt on the narrator's credibility.

    Obviously he found something that didn't get away that he could claim has value that can't be immediately debunked by the common layman. That alone gives it enough novelty to draw paying spectators.
    cameronwg5on May 02, 2017   Link

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