The "Fish" Cheer / I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag
is a popular protest song from the band Country Joe and the Fish
from their 1967 album of the same name
. The song begins with the "fish" cheer which was a cheerleader-style call-and-response with the audience where Country Joe
spells out "fish" ("Give me an F!"). On some occasions, such as that documented at the 1969 Woodstock festival, this was adapted to become a cheer spelling the word "fuck". The song itself is a black comedy novelty song about the Vietnam War, whose familiar chorus ("One, two, three, what are we fighting for?") is well known to the Woodstock generation and Vietnam Vets of the 1960s and 1970s. It is the band's most successful and popular song peaking in the top 40 spot on the charts.
In one of the most memorable performances at the legendary Woodstock Festival, Country Joe performs the song solo. He altered the fish cheer to say "fuck" instead and a great many of the half a million attendees sang along. At one point, most of the audience members stood up to sing along with him. The performance garnered international attention and has since been seen as the epitome of the anti-war movement of the 1960s.
The Passion Killers, comprising several member of the band Chumbawamba, covered the song with modified lyrics on their 1991 single, Whoopee! We're All Going To Die!, as a protest against the first Gulf War.
It was referenced on the 2008 edition of the AP United States History exam.