Want to license a Woody Guthrie song?

If you are interested in licensing a song for publication, recording, performance, or other, please contact the publisher.

Questions? Contact Anna Canoni at: acanoni(at)woodyguthrie.org

All works by Woody Guthrie are held under U.S. Copyright Law.

Look at the bottom of each lyric page to find the correct publisher.

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

Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc.
(Administered by BMG Chrysalis)
1 Music Circle South, Suite #500
Nashville, TN 37203
E: mechanical(at)bmg.com (Mechanical licenses)
E: licensing(at)bmg.com (Synch licenses)

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

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

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



Johnny Hart
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie

Johnny Hart, he was a desperate little man
hell raisin' ran a pistol every day
cut down a man on a free state line
should've seen Johnny Hart gettin' away, oh Lord,
see Johnny Hart gettin' away

Johnny Hart made a run for the free state line
there he thought he'd be free
man came walkin' and grabbed him by the arm
he said, "Johnny come along with me, ol' boy,
Johnny come along with me"

Johnny Hart, he wrote his mom and dad
sayin, come here and go my bail
but money won't go his murder charge
they lay Johnny Hart back in jail, oh Lord
they lay Johnny Hart back in jail

Now the first one to visit Johnny Hart in jail
was a girl with a rag on her head
said, "I never thought I'd see you in that jail,
I believe I'd rather see you dead, Johnny Hart,
I believe I'd rather see you dead"

Now the next one to visit Johnny Hart in jail
was his lovely wife, she was so brave
said, "I'd rather see you in your windin' sheets
than see you on a long rattlin' chain, dear god,
see you on a long rattlin' chain"

Johnny Hart he stood in his jail cell
and a tear ran down his eye
there'd been the death of many deadly sheriff
six gone and he's never told a lie, no Lord,
six gone and he's never told a lie

Well I've run to the east, I've run to the west
I've run just as far as I can
If I ever get loose from this ball and chain
I'm gonna make it to the free state line, dear God,
make it to the free state line

You've got guards to the east and guards to the west
You've got guards this whole world round
but before I'll be a slave I'll rot in your bed
You can take me to my hangin' ground, mister jail,
take me to my hangin' ground


© Copyright 1961 (renewed) and 1963 (renewed) by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. & TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)
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