GRAND COULEE DAM

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
GRAND COULEE DAM
Woody Guthrie wrote thousands of songs, but this is one of the few that he was paid to
write. The Bonneville Power Administration hired him to write songs for a month to
promote the project, and Guthrie came up with a series of songs, which included this and
Roll On Columbia.” The songs were not merely propaganda for a power company, but
were a genuine expression of pride in the beauty of America and the ingenuity of its
people. Anna Canoni, who is Guthrie’s granddaughter and a director at the Woody
Guthrie Foundation, said: “I think that was probably the only time he was paid. And they
may have just said, ‘Write about this project,’ and then he took that to mean whatever he
wanted it to mean for himself. I think some of his most powerful work came from that
time period, from those 30 days that he spent on the Columbia River.
Well the world owns seven wonders as the travelers always tell.
Some gardens and some towers, I guess you know them well.
But now the greatest wonder is in Uncle Sam’s fair land.
That King Columbia river and the great Grand Coulee Dam.
She come up the Canadian Rockies where the crystal waters glide,
Comes a-roaring down the canyon to meet that salty tide
From the great Pacific Ocean to where the sun sets in the west,
That big Grand Coulee country in that land I love the best.
In the misty glitter of that wild and windward spray,
Men have fought the pounding waters and met a watery grave.
Once she tore men’s boats to splinters but she gave men dreams to dream,
[ Find more Lyrics at www.mp3lyrics.org/wFo ]
That day that Grand Coulee dam went across that wild and restless stream.
Oh Uncle Sam took up the notion in the year of thirty three,
For the factory and the farmer and for all of you and me.
He said: roll it on Columbia, you can roll out to the sea
But river, while you’re rolling you can do some work for me.
Now from Washington and Oregon you can hear them factories a-hum,
Making corn and making manganese and light aluminum.
Always a flying fortress to blast for Uncle Sam,
That King Columbia river and the great Grand Coulee dam.
Well the world owns seven wonders as the travellers always tell.
Some gardens and some towers, I guess you know them well.
But now the greatest wonder is in Uncle Sam’s fair land.
That King Columbia river and the great Grand Coulee Dam