, , , , , , ,

When you think of American history, what pops into your mind? Pilgrims? Cherry trees? Patriots? Indians? Wars? Boring classes? Yep for me, on the last one.

Today I’m sharing some history that popped into my mind recently. Back in the 70’s my family rode around in a Chevy Nova. It was a TANK! Well, it was on the outside. At some point the radio stopped working and it was a while before it got replaced. In the mean time, my father, a Viet Nam War era Veteran, decided it would be a good idea for him to just sing ‘a cappella’ as we were riding to wherever. I’m appreciating that now more than I did at the time. Just sayin’. One of the songs he used to sing was Ball Of Confusion, as performed by the Temptations, and one of the reasons I’m familiar with the lyrics is because of HOW MANY TIMES dad sang that song in the car.

As I have mentioned before, I’m not a professional (or particularly learned) historian, but since I decided to develop Don’t Duck History I find myself curious about history everywhere. In the light of recent global events (terrorism, refugees, racism, wars, the list goes on…), I thought this song would be an interesting subject. While the song was considered a protest/psychedelic/message song for it’s time, it still remains relevant today and we’re still finding ourselves struggling with some of the same issues mentioned in it.

Take a few moments and read the lyrics, then watch the video that I found on youtube. Bottom line, this planet that we live on is all we have right now, and we cannot afford to continue the confusion. I’m struggling to be a part of the solution in my moments of clarity. I hope you decide to join me.

Ball Of Confusion

People moving out, people moving in
Why? Because of the color of their skin
Run, run, run but you sure can’t hide
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth
Vote for me and I’ll set you free
Rap on, brother, rap on

Well, the only person talking about love thy brother is the preacher
And it seems nobody’s interested in learning but the teacher
Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration
Aggravation, humiliation, obligation to my nation

Ball of confusion
Oh yeah, that’s what the world is today
Woo, hey, hey

The sale of pills are at an all time high
Young folks walking round with their heads in the sky
The cities a flame in the summer time
And oh, the beat goes on

Evolution, revolution, gun control, sound of soul
Shooting rockets to the moon, kids growing up too soon
Politicians say more taxes will solve everything
And the band played on

So, round and around and around we go
Where the world’s headed, said nobody knows
Oh, great Googamooga
Can’t you hear me talking to you?

Just a ball of confusion
Oh yeah, that’s what the world is today
Woo, hey, hey

Fear in the air, tension everywhere
Unemployment rising fast, the Beatles new record’s a gas
And the only safe place to live is on an Indian reservation
And the band played on

Eve of destruction, tax deduction, city inspectors, bill collectors
Mod clothes in demand, population out of hand, suicide, too many bills
Hippies moving to the hills, people all over the world are shouting
‘End the war’ and the band played on

Great Googamooga
Can’t you hear me talking to you?

It’s a ball of confusion
That’s what the world is today, hey, hey
Let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya

Sayin’ ball of confusion
That’s what the world is today, hey, hey
Let me hear ya, let me hear ya
Let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya
Sayin’ ball of confusion


Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Read more: Temptations – Ball Of Confusion Lyrics | MetroLyrics

See what I mean? We still have work to do. Now that I have your attention, if you’re really curious, take a look at this article. It’s got interesting information on the Temptations and Motown, and includes mentions of many other songs and artists of that time. Read it here. That’s the thing when you don’t duck history. One thing leads to another. Like ducks swimming, even.



Don’t Duck History is a fiscally sponsored project of United Charitable Programs, a registered 501(c)(3) public charity. The mission of the program is to promote and facilitate the learning and sharing of American history, along with its personal and social implications, and to highlight the history of Americans whose stories are not often presented in traditional American history textbooks.

Your tax-deductible donations to help achieve the mission will be gladly accepted, as we’re just getting started as a nonprofit program.

Ducks have expenses. Ducks need to eat. They also like to fly on occasion, and you will be the wind beneath their wings.