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A NOTE ABOUT PUBLISHING:

Want to use a Woody Guthrie song?

If you are interested in using a song for publication, recording, performance, or other, please contact the publisher of that particular song. All works by Woody Guthrie are held under U.S. Copyright Law.

Woody has a few different publishers, just look at the bottom of each lyric and you'll see who to contact.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Anna Canoni at: acanoni(at)woodyguthrie.org


PUBLISHER'S CONTACT:

TRO-Essex Music Group
Attn: Leah Gebhardt
266 West 37th Street, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10018-6609
T: 212-594-9795 x25
E: NorthAmericaLicensing(at)troessexmusic.com
Website


Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc.
(Administered by BMG Chrysalis)
Attn: Gregg Barron
6100 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite #1600,
Los Angeles, CA 90048
T: (323) 969-0988
E: info.us@bmgchrysalis.com
Website


Sanga Music Group
(Administered by Bicycle Music)
449 South Beverly Drive, Suite 300
Beverly Hills, CA 90212 
T: 310-286-6600
Website


Michael Goldsen Music, Inc.
(Administered by Universal Music)

2100 Colorado Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404
T: (310) 235-4892
E: umpg.songlist@umusic.com
Website


 

 

The Blinding of Isaac Woodard
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie

My name is Isaac Woodard, my tale I'll tell you;
I'm sure it'll sound so terrible you might not think it true;
I joined up with the Army, they sent me overseas;
Through the battles of New Guinea and in the Philippines.

On the 13th day of February 1946
They sent me to Atlanta and I got my discharge pin;
I caught the bus for Winslow, going to meet my wife,
Then we were coming to New York City to visit my parents both.

About an hour out of Atlanta, the sun was going down,
We stopped the bus at a drugstore in a little country town;
I walked up to the driver and I looked him in the eye,
"I'd like to go to the washroom, if you think we got time."

The driver started cursing, and then he hollered, "No!"
So, then I cussed right back at him, and really got him told.
He said, "If you will hurry, I guess I'll take the time!"
It was in a few short minutes we was rolling down the line.

We rolled for thirty minutes, I watched the shacks and trees,
I thought of my wife in Winsboro waiting there for me.
In Aiken, South Carolina, the driver he jumped out;
He came back with a policeman to take me off the bus.

"Listen, Mr. Policeman," I started to explain,
"I did not cause no trouble, and I did not raise no cain."
He hit me with his billy, he cursed me up and down,
"Shut up, you black bastard"; and he walked me down in town.

As we walked along the sidewalk, my right arm he did twist;
I knew he wanted me to fight back, but I never did resist;
"Have you your Army discharge?" I told him, yes, I had;
He pasted me with his loaded stick down across my head.

I grabbed his stick and we had a little run, and had a little wrastle;
When another cop run up with a gun and jumped into the battle;
"If you don't drop that sap, black boy, it's me that's dropping you."
So I figured to drop that loaded sap was the best thing I could do.

They beat me about the head and face and left a bloody trail
All down along the sidewalk to the iron door of the jail;
He knocked me down upon the ground and he poked me in the eyes;
When I woke up next morning, I found my eyes were blind.

They drug me to the courtroom, and I could not see the judge;
He fined me fifty dollars for raising all the fuss;
The doctor finally got there but it took him two whole days;
He handed me some drops and salve and told me to treat myself.

It's now you've heard my story, there's one thing I can't see,
How you could treat a human like they have treated me;
I thought I fought on the islands to get rid of their kind;
But I can see the fight lots plainer now that I am blind.

 


© Copyright Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. (BMI)
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