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Talking Dust Bowl Blues

This song is by Woody Guthrie and appears on the album Dust Bowl Ballads (1940) and on the album Library Of Congress Recordings (1964).

Back in 1927
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