2006 Jello Biafra Interview On “California Uber Alles” and Jerry Brown
I am Governor Jerry Brown My aura smiles And never frowns Soon I will be president…
Carter Power will soon go away I will be Fuhrer one day I will command all of you Your kids will meditate in school Your kids will meditate in school!
[Chorus:] California Uber Alles California Uber Alles Uber Alles California Uber Alles California
Zen fascists will control you 100% natural You will jog for the master race And always wear the happy face
Close your eyes, can’t happen here Big Bro’ on white horse is near The hippies won’t come back you say Mellow out or you will pay Mellow out or you will pay!
Yikes. What’s that all about? From the Wikipedia entry:
The title is an allusion to the first stanza of the national anthem of Germany, which used to begin with the words “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles.” (literally, “Germany, Germany above all.”)
The song focuses on Jerry Brown, the Governor of California between 1975 and 1983, and is sung from his perspective. An imaginary Brown outlines a hippie-fascist vision for America, in which his “suede denim secret police” kill un-cool people with “organic poison gas” chambers. Lines such as “Serpent’s egg already hatched” (a reference to a line from William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar) comment on the corrosive nature of power. The line “now it is 1984″ refers to the totalitarian regime of George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, describing a future (from 1979) where Jerry Brown has become President Brown presiding over secret police and gas chambers.
Why, pray tell, did Biafra choose Brown as his dystopian dictator? The answer can be found in this California Report interview with the former Dead Kennedys’ front man, which the show did as part of its California Songs series. The interview was conducted by California Report producer Victoria Mauleon. Give it a listen: