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The Panic Is On

This song is by Hezekiah Jenkins and appears on the compilation Songsters & Saints, Volume 1: Vocal Traditions on Race Records (1984).

Well, what this country is a-coming to
I sure would like to know
If they don't do something by and by
The rich will live and the poor will die
Doggone, I mean the panic is on

Can't get no work, can't draw no pay
Unemployment getting worser every day
Nothing to eat, no place to sleep
All night long, folks is walkin' the street
Doggone, I mean the panic is on

Saw a man this morning walking down the street
In his BVD's, no shoes on his feet
You ought to seen the women curvin' in they flat
I could hear them saying, "What kind of man is that?
Doggone, I mean the panic is on

All the landlords done raised the rent
Folks that ain't broke is badly bent
Where they get dough from, goodness knows
But if they don't produce it in the street they goes
Doggone, I mean the panic is on

Some play the numbers, some read your mind
They've all got a racket of some kind
Some trimmin' corns off 'a people's feet
They got to do something to make ends meet
Doggone, I mean the panic is on

Some women are selling apples, some selling pies
Some selling gin and rye
Some selling socks to support they man
In fact, some are selling anything they can
Doggone, I mean the panic is on

I pawned my clothes and everything
Pawned my jewelry, my watch and my ring
Pawned my razor, an' my gun
So if luck don't change, there'll be some stealing done
Doggone, I mean the panic is on

Old prohibition ruined everything
That's why I'm forced to sing
Here's one thing I want you all to all to hear
Until they bring back light wine, gin and beer
Doggone, the panic will be on