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A NOTE ABOUT PUBLISHING


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.


PUBLISHER'S CONTACT
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
Email
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
Email
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.
MGA
(Administered by Universal Music)

2100 Colorado Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404
T: (310) 235-4892
Email
Website


 

 

The Unwelcome Guest
Words by Woody Guthrie, Music by Billy Bragg

To the rich man's bright lodges I ride in this wind
On my good horse I call you my shiny Black Bess
To the playhouse of fortune
to take the bright silver
An gold you have taken from somebody else

And as we go riding in the damp foggy midnight
You snort, my good pony, and you give me your best
For you know, and I know, good horse
'mongst the rich ones
How oftimes we go there an unwelcome guest

I've never took food from the widows and orphans
And never a hard working man I oppressed
So take your pace easy,
for home soon like lightening
We soon will be riding, my shiny Black Bess

No fat rich man's pony can ever overtake you
And there's not a rider from the east to the west
Could hold you a light
in this dark mist and midnight
When the potbellied thieves
chase their unwelcome guest

I don't know good horse,
As we trot in this dark here
That robbing the rich is for worse or for best
They take it by stealing and lying and gambling
And I take it my way, my shiny Black Bess

I treat horses good and I'm friendly to strangers
I ride and your running makes my guns talk the best
And the rangers and deputies
are hired by the rich man
To catch me and hang me, my shining Black Bess

Yes, they'll catch me napping one day
and they'll kill me
And then I'll be gone but that won´t be my end
For my guns and my saddle will always be filled
By unwelcome travellers and other brave men

And they'll take the money and spread it out equal
Just like the Bible and the prophets suggest
But the man that go riding to help these poor workers
The rich will cut down like an unwelcome guest

 


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