TALKIN DUST BOWL BLUES

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • TALKIN DUST BOWL BLUES
    In “Talking Dust Bowl,” Woody Guthrie wrote and rewrote endlessly while riding the
    freights in 1936 and 1937, he re-created the migrant experience in six bitter, exquisitely
    simple verses.
    Back in Nineteen Twenty-Seven,
    I had a little farm and I called that heaven.
    Well, the prices up and the rain come down,
    And I hauled my crops all into town —
    I got the money, bought clothes and groceries,
    Fed the kids, and raised a family.
    Rain quit and the wind got high,
    And the black ol’ dust storm filled the sky.
    And I swapped my farm for a Ford machine,
    And I poured it full of this gas-i-line —
    And I started, rockin’ an’ a-rollin’,
    Over the mountains, out towards the old Peach Bowl.
    Way up yonder on a mountain road,
    I had a hot motor and a heavy load,
    I’s a-goin’ pretty fast, there wasn’t even stoppin’,
    A-bouncin’ up and down, like popcorn poppin’ —
    Had a breakdown, sort of a nervous bustdown of some kind,
    There was a feller there, a mechanic feller,
    Said it was en-gine trouble.
    Way up yonder on a mountain curve,
    It’s way up yonder in the piney wood,
    An’ I give that rollin’ Ford a shove,
    An’ I’s a-gonna coast as far as I could —
    Commence coastin’, pickin’ up speed,
    Was a hairpin turn, I didn’t make it.
    Man alive, I’m a-tellin’ you,
    The fiddles and the guitars really flew.
    That Ford took off like a flying squirrel
    An’ it flew halfway around the world —
    Scattered wives and childrens
    All over the side of that mountain.
    We got out to the West Coast broke,
    So dad-gum hungry I thought I’d croak,
    An’ I bummed up a spud or two,
    An’ my wife fixed up a tater stew —
    We poured the kids full of it,
    Mighty thin stew, though,
    You could read a magazine right through it.
    Always have figured
  • That if it’d been just a little bit thinner,
    Some of these here politicians
    Coulda seen through it