Talking Hard Work
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie
While we're on the subject of hard work
I just wanted to say that I always was a man to work.
I was born working and I worked my way up by hard work.
I ain't never go nowhere yet but I got there by hard work:
Work of the hardest kind.
I been down and I been out
And I've been busted, disgusted and couldn't be trusted.
I worked my way up and I worked my way down.
I've been drunk and I've been sober. I've had hard times and I got hijacked
And been robbed for cash and robbed for credit.
Worked my way into jail and outta jail
And I woke up alotta mornings and I didn't even know where I was at.
But the hardest work I ever done is when I was trying to get myself
a worried woman to ease my worried mind.
Now I'm gonna tell you just about how much hard work I had to do to get this here
women that I'm a-tellin you about.
I shook hands with 97 of her kinfolks and her blood relatives and I
done the same with 86 people that was just her friends and her neighbors.
Kissed 73 babies and put dry pants on 34 of em' as well as others
And done the same thing several times - as well as a lot of other things
just about like this.
I held 125 head of wild horses, put saddles and bridles on more that that,
harnessed some of the craziest, wildest teams in the whole country.
I rode 14 loco broncos to a dead standstill and let 42 hound dogs lick me all over.
Seven times I was bit by hungry dogs and I was chewed all to pieces by
water moccasins and rattlesnakes on two separate river bottoms.
I chopped and I carried 314 armloads of stove wood, 100 buckets of coal,
and I carried a gallon of kerosene 18 miles over the mountains, got lost,
lost a pair of shoes in a mud hole.
And I chopped and I weeded 48 rows of short cotton, 13 acres of bad corn
and cut sticker weeds out of 11 back yards.
All on accounta' cause I wanted to show her that I was a man a I liked to work.
I cleaned out 9 barnloads and cranked 31 automobiles, all makes and models.
Pulled 3 cars out of mud holes and 4 out of snowdrifts.
I dug 5 cisterns of water for some of her friends and neighbors
and run all kinds of errands.
I played the fiddle for 9 churches meetings and I joined 11 separate denominations.
I signed up and joined up for 7 of the best trade unions I could find
And paid my dues about 6 weeks ahead of time.
Waded 40 miles of swamps, 60 big rivers,
Walked across 2 mountain ranges and crossed three deserts.
I got the fever and I got sunstroke and I got malaria and I got the flu
and I got moonstruck and skeeter bit, the poison ivy and the 7 year itch
and the blind staggers.
I was given up for lost and dead about 2 dozen times.
Struck by lightning, struck by Congress, struck by friends and kinfolks
as well as by three cars on the highways and a lotta times in peoples hen-houses.
I been hit and run down and run over and walked on and knocked around
And I'm just settin' here now trying to study up what else I can do to show
that woman that I still ain't afraid of hard work.
© Copyright 1961 (renewed) by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc.