Woody Guthrie - two songs


The crops are all in, and the peaches are rotting, The oranges are piled in their creseote dumps, You're flying them back to the Mexico border To pay all their money to wade back again. Chorus: Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye Rosalita, Adios mis amigos, Jesus and Maria. You won't have a name when you ride the big airplane, And all they will call you will be deportee. My father's own father he waded that river, They took all the money he made in his life. My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees They rode the truck till they took down and died. Chorus: Some of us are illegal and some are not wanted, Our work contracts out and we have to move on. Six hundred miles to that Mexico border, They chase us like outlaws, and rustlers, and thieves. Chorus: We died in your hills; we died in your deserts; We died in your valleys and died on your plains; We died neath your trees, we died in your bushes, Both sides of the river, we died just the same. Chorus: The skyplane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon, A fireball of lightning, it scarred all our hills, Who are these friends all scattered like dry leaves? The radio says they are just deportees. Chorus: Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards? Is the is the best way we can grow our good fruit? To fall like dry leaves, to rot on the topsoil, And be known by no name except deportee? Chorus:

Roll on, Columbia

Roll on, Columbia, roll on, Roll on, Columbia, roll on, Your power is turning our darkness to dawn. So roll on, Columbia, roll on. Other great rivers lend power to you, Yakima, Snake, and the KLICKITAT too, Sandy Willamette and the Hood River too, So roll on, Columbia, roll on. Chorus: And on up the river is Grand Coulee Dam, The biggest thing built by the hand of a man, To run the great factories and water the land, So, roll on, Columbia, roll on. Chorus: Tom Jefferson's vision would not let him rest, An empire he saw in the Pacific Northwest, Sent Lewis and Clark and they did the rest. So, roll on, Columbia, roll on. Chorus:
A Penn alumnus wrote this about "Deportees": Woody Guthrie's Deportees (AKA Plane Wreck at Los Gatos). It dates from the late forties and was, supposedly, written after Guthrie read a news report about a plane crash over California's Los Gatos canyon in which the deaths were dismissed as unimportant because they were all (excepting the pilot) "deportees". Even their names were not known. It's not hard to envision how this could have caught Woody's imagination. This was probably Woody's last great song. Here are the lyrics, approximately. I'm not sure songs like this ever get sung the same twice. It is probably best known to people of our, or at least my, generation from the version recorded by the Byrds available on, I think, the Easy Rider soundtrack.


Document URL: http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/50s/guthrie-columbia-deportees.html
Last modified: Thursday, 31-May-2007 09:42:24 EDT