Trump reads 'The Snake,' repurposed as anti-immigrant poem, at CPAC

President Donald Trump read the lyrics of an anti-immigrant song titled "The Snake" on Friday, reverting to a campaig...

Posted: Feb 24, 2018 12:19 AM
Updated: Feb 24, 2018 12:19 AM

President Donald Trump read the lyrics of an anti-immigrant song titled "The Snake" on Friday, reverting to a campaign staple that Trump has used to criticize United States' immigration policy.

The song, written by the late singer-songwriter Oscar Brown Jr., tells the story of a women who takes in a frozen snake she finds on her way to work. After the snake is nursed back to health, it bites the women and kills her.

Trump uses the song as an allegory to immigration law, suggesting that immigrants who come to the United States in search of a better life and help may end up hurting the country in the end.

"Did anyone ever hear me do 'The Snake' during the campaign" Trump asked the audience to raucous applause. "Because I had five people outside say, 'Could you do The Snake?'"

He added: "So this is called, this is called 'The Snake' and think of it in terms of immigration. And you may love it or you may say, 'Isn't that terrible.' And if you say, 'Isn't that terrible,' who cares?"

The story was a staple of Trump's 2016 campaign, regularly read at events to raucous applause as the businessman-turned-politician ran on a hardline immigration platform that included building a wall along the US-Mexico border and, at one point, halting all Muslim immigration.

Use of the song by Trump has morphed over time, however. Initially, Trump read the story as an attack against accepting Syrian refugees, who he claimed included terrorists hellbent on entering the United States.

But Trump, like he did on Friday, later began using the story to attack all immigrants.

"Immigration," Trump said, before jumping into the story.

He last read the story at a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to mark his 100th day in office.

"Let's dedicate this to (then-Homeland Security Secretary John) Kelly, the Border Patrol, and the ICE agents for doing such an incredible job," he said. "All right?"

Use of the song has long been controversial.

Brown, who died in 2005, wrote it in 1963 based on The Farmer and the Viper, one of Aesop's fables. The moral of the story is that kindness can be betrayed.

But the Brown family, after seeing Trump seize on the song during the campaign, asked the then candidate to stop using it.

"We don't want him using these lyrics," Maggie Brown told the Chicago Tribune in 2016. "If Dad were alive, he would've ripped (Trump) with a great poem in rebuttal. Not only a poem and a song, but an essay and everything else."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 614946

Reported Deaths: 9807
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion849231342
Lake45784693
Allen33103560
Hamilton29752316
St. Joseph27572383
Elkhart24496346
Vanderburgh19679255
Tippecanoe18150144
Johnson15234296
Porter14970172
Hendricks14550253
Madison11071223
Clark10852145
Vigo10819185
Monroe9496115
Delaware9193136
LaPorte9173164
Howard8325148
Kosciusko811485
Warrick683399
Hancock6783106
Bartholomew6659100
Floyd6522113
Wayne6194164
Grant6050118
Dubois559081
Boone557968
Morgan551996
Henry512365
Marshall507884
Dearborn488745
Cass487864
Noble476159
Jackson428747
Shelby423381
Lawrence395180
Clinton375845
Gibson375560
Harrison354046
DeKalb351365
Montgomery349754
Knox337839
Miami325244
Steuben315846
Whitley313126
Wabash306951
Adams303636
Ripley301646
Putnam299152
Huntington295760
Jasper293035
White275943
Daviess271776
Jefferson267738
Decatur249983
Fayette249949
Greene242763
Posey241828
Wells237551
LaGrange230363
Scott227939
Clay225032
Randolph215848
Jennings200937
Spencer193622
Sullivan193633
Washington189023
Fountain185227
Starke177044
Jay168723
Owen168338
Fulton165430
Orange161035
Carroll160616
Rush156418
Perry156129
Vermillion150034
Franklin149933
Tipton134433
Parke13098
Pike118826
Blackford112023
Pulaski97937
Newton92621
Brown88835
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin75013
Warren6867
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4967
Unassigned0375

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 872918

Reported Deaths: 10856
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102616707
Cuyahoga868931154
Hamilton65148455
Montgomery43662420
Summit35411766
Lucas31794634
Butler31451232
Stark26247445
Warren19939144
Lorain19378229
Mahoning17561339
Lake16350161
Clermont16235113
Delaware1463881
Licking13453142
Fairfield1301782
Trumbull12980317
Greene12226144
Medina11798169
Clark11094266
Wood10507158
Allen10031128
Portage9514111
Richland9275134
Miami927273
Marion7512113
Tuscarawas7455186
Columbiana7433124
Pickaway735250
Muskingum714042
Wayne7140172
Erie6253130
Ross5589100
Hancock556292
Scioto545365
Geauga518955
Darke474395
Lawrence464658
Union459130
Ashtabula457973
Sandusky440462
Huron435541
Mercer435590
Seneca435366
Auglaize425166
Belmont423948
Jefferson423969
Shelby422923
Washington396340
Athens38619
Putnam379276
Madison359930
Knox358423
Ashland349638
Fulton341744
Defiance336188
Crawford327274
Preble323637
Brown318821
Logan314835
Ottawa297443
Clinton293944
Highland282219
Williams282267
Jackson266145
Guernsey259326
Champaign254628
Fayette241030
Morrow23594
Perry235518
Holmes227274
Henry222954
Hardin217033
Coshocton208023
Van Wert204445
Gallia200126
Wyandot198151
Pike180918
Adams179815
Hocking174024
Carroll158216
Paulding145521
Noble121040
Meigs110324
Monroe103433
Harrison89821
Morgan84531
Vinton71714
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
24° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 14°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 13°
Huntington
Cloudy
24° wxIcon
Hi: 26° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 16°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
24° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 14°
Lima
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 16°
More Clouds than Sun Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events