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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


 

 

Talking Dust Bowl Blues
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie

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.

 


© Copyright 1960 (renewed) by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. & TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)
Available on:

American Radical Patriot
Woody Guthrie

Library of Congress Recordings
Woody Guthrie
*Out of print. The complete unedited Library of Congress Recording Sessions is included in American Radical Patriot 7-CD set.

 

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