For Lindsey Graham, Debbie Reynolds’ “If I had a hammer” (video)

In honor of Republican Senator Lindsey Graham’s manly-man stance against going back to secure the release of US prisoners-of-war, I give you Debbie Reynolds’ “If I had a hammer.”

A reader passed this video along to me, and I can’t tell if it’s the worst music video I’ve ever seen, or the best.

This slays me.

First, the intro — LOVE the arms, and look at that design!


Then the totally-not-gay leap.


Oh, there’s more back up, swingin’ and groovin’.


And even more backup, doing a sexy flamenco thing.


Am I crazy, or is that Ann-Margret?


Yeah, baby.debboe-featire
And finally, the big finish — will they lift their arms in unison?



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I’m kind of digging the Italian subtitles:

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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29 Responses to “For Lindsey Graham, Debbie Reynolds’ “If I had a hammer” (video)”

  1. jake says:

    you are crazy. no way that’s Ann-Margret.

  2. Butch1 says:

    It could be. They try and throw a large net when they do this and it usually offends more people unfortunately, than draws them in. Perhaps she was gearing up for a “Los Vegas” act or something.

  3. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    The dancing, quartet, and the arrangement were really strange, but I couldn’t help thinking that Debbie was doing this in order to spark interest in her movie, “The Singing Nun”. It may have had the opposite effect.

  4. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    “Oh! To be “one toke over the line” and then watching the Lawrence Welk Show.”

    There’s a definition for cognitive dissonance.

  5. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    What about natural curiosity? I find it amazing that Welk didn’t ask, “What’s a toke?” I’m certain that some of the musicians had the answer.

  6. Butch1 says:

    “Oh, my Papa?” ;-

  7. Butch1 says:

    Welk was clueless when he said, “modern spiritual.” I wonder if anyone in his “band” knew? ;-) ( musicians are usually way ahead of where most everyone else are. )

  8. Butch1 says:

    How could she ruin that folk song? Some talented singers should just not enter genres that were not meant for them to sing. It’s like listening to some famous opera singers of the past try and sing pop songs. They have wonderful voices in opera, but out of the genre and into the wrong one and it can be a disaster. Getting back to Debbie; ( then putting dancers and a quartet to it . . . whose idea was it anyway? ) Commercialism at its worst.

  9. woodroad34 says:

    Oh! To be “one toke over the line” and then watching the Lawrence Welk Show. Talk about psychodrama and hallucinations.

    And as far as Miss LGrrrrr goes, republicans always parse and never include whole messages–they’ve never been original and their public can’t grasp whole, 3-d messages. They’ve become political white noise.

  10. PolinaWellingsiso says:

    my buddy’s sister makes $87 every hour on the internet
    . She has been unemployed for 6 months but last month her payment was $19402
    just working on the internet for a few hours. go right here M­o­n­e­y­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­

  11. KelsQualeymit says:

    my my buddy’s sister makes $87 every hour on the internet
    . She has been unemployed for 6 months but last month her payment was $19402
    just working on the internet for a few hours. go right here M­o­n­e­y­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­sister makes $87 every hour on themy buddy’s sister makes $87 every hour on the internet
    . She has been unemployed for 6 months but last month her payment was $19402
    just working on the internet for a few hours. go right here M­o­n­e­y­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­ internet
    . She has been unemployed for 6 months but last month her payment was $19402
    just working on the internet for a few hours. go right here M­o­n­e­y­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­

  12. AtticCrazy says:

    He’s on the list of celebrities with infamously large…talent.

  13. jm2 says:

    puleez! Debbie would be insulted having her name mentioned in the same phrase as Miss Lindsey. i was impressed with the Italian subtitles though…

  14. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    It certainly was referring to smoking a joint. In fact, when I was in college, several of us got really high and went to the railway station and sang that song. It was a college town, so no one really noticed us.

    I loved it when Welk referred to it as a modern spiritual.

  15. Mike F says:

    Oh, man, my wife showed this to me a couple of weeks ago. HI-larious! Absolutely no clue as to the marijuana reference. Conservatives can be so block-headed, no?

    But anyway, Jeebus.

    Oh, and I likes me that ‘sexy flamenco’ dancer with the B52 and the saucy smile. Grrrr, baby, grrr!

  16. Wilberforce says:

    That was brutal. I couldn’t watch more than a minute. And it’s a minute I’ll never get back.

  17. I assume they mean toke, as in inhaling a joint? So the song is about getting too high?

  18. Yep, mine :) thanks!

  19. emjayay says:

    Amazing. Plus color coordinated costume designer country bumpkin outfits. I think they focused on the train and Jesus and the love parts. Stolen from Songfacts:

    This song is about drugs, especially marijuana. A “Toke” is a puff from a marijuana cigarette or pipe. Tom Shipley explained: “When we wrote ‘One Toke Over the Line,’ I think we were one toke over the line. I considered marijuana a sort of a sacrament… If you listen to the lyrics of that song, ‘one toke’ was just a metaphor. It’s a song about excess. Too much of anything will probably kill you.”

    Mike Brewer and Tom Shipley were Folk singers in Los Angeles. This was their only hit.

    Brewer says of the song’s origin: “We wrote that one night in the dressing room of a coffee house. We were literally just entertaining ourselves. The next day we got together to do some picking and said, ‘What was that we were messing with last night?’ We remembered it, and in about an hour, we’d written ‘One Toke Over the Line.’ Just making ourselves laugh, really. We had no idea that it would ever even be considered as a single, because it was just another song to us. Actually Tom and I always thought that our ballads were our forte.” (quotes from

    Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead was brought in to play played steel guitar on the Tarkio sessions. He didn’t play on “One Toke Over The Line,” but did appear on the B-side, “Oh Mommy’ (I Ain’t No Commie).”

    Some radio stations refused to play this song because of the drug references, but not everyone got this meaning. In 1971 the song was performed on the Lawrence Welk Show by a wholesome looking couple Gail Farrell and Dick Dale, who clearly had NO clue what a toke was. Welk, at the conclusion of the performance of the song, remarked, without any hint of humor, “there you’ve heard a modern spiritual by Gail and Dale.” Brewer & Shipley heard about the performance and searched for the footage, but didn’t see it until the clip showed up on YouTube in 2007.

  20. Houndentenor says:

    The real question is why either one of them wanted Eddie Fisher. Yuck!

  21. emjayay says:

    the (late, lamented) Lollipop Building type set pieces are pretty cool too.

  22. Yalma Cuder-Zicci says:

    This video was a goldmine for gifs. They are wonderful. Did you make them, John? The first one is priceless.

  23. HeartlandLiberal says:

    Wow. What a total disconnect between the message of the song and the visual representation by the singer and dancers. Reminds me of the Lawrence Welk show, which did a great job of taking songs with serious messages and social content, and reducing them to trite, kitschy rubble, sung by women with big hair and swirling long dresses.

    And then one has to ask, when Welk show did “One Toke Over the Line”m whether they really knew or had any clue what that meant?

  24. BeccaM says:

    Honestly? I don’t think there’s a single musical production number from, oh, around 1955 onward that wasn’t incredibly…flamboyant.

  25. VarshaMoretoniss says:

    Eva . I can see what your saying… Robert `s comment
    is surprising, last thursday I bought themselves a Infiniti from making $7905
    this – 4 weeks past and-also, ten-k last month . with-out a doubt this is the
    easiest-work Ive ever done . I began this 8-months ago and right away started
    to earn minimum $82 per/hr . official website R­e­x­1­0­.­C­O­M­

  26. UncleBucky says:


  27. AtticCrazy says:

    Reason 943 why Eddie Fisher dumped Debbie for Liz. YAWN.

  28. Indigo says:

    That hair!

  29. cole3244 says:

    i can definitely answer half your question, it isn’t the best, i will leave the rest to others.

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