Oh, pour me a drink of Italian red wine
And let me taste it and call back to mind
Once more in my thoughts and once more in my soul
This story is great if not greater than all.
The AP news on June 24th
Told about a patrolman named Earl J. Vow
Stepped on a Main Street trolleycar
And arrests Sacco and Vanzetti there.
The article tells how Earl J. Vow
Is now retiring as an officer of the law.
This cop goes down in my history
For arrestin' Sacco and Vanzetti that day.
It was 1920, the fifth of May
The cop and some buddies took these men away
Off of the car and out and down
And down to the jail in Brockton town.
"There's been a killing and a robbery
At the Slater-Morrill shoe factory.
You two gents are carryin' guns
And you dodged the draft when the war did come."
"Oh yes, 'tis so, 'tis so, 'tis so.
We made for the borders of Mexico.
The rich man's war we could not fight,
So we crossed the border to keep out of sight."
"You men are known as radicals' sons.
You must be killers, you both carry guns."
"I'm a nightwatchman. My friend peddles fish,
And he carries his gun when he's got lots of cash."
Oh, pour me a glass of Germany's beer,
Russia's hot voadky, so strong and clear.
Pour me a glass of Palesteen's Hoc
Or just a moonshiner's bucket of chock.
Now, let me think and let me see
How these two men were found guilty:
How a hundred and sixty witnesses passed by
And the ones spoke for 'em was a hundred and five.
Out of the rest, about fifty just guessed
Out of the five that was put to the test
Only the story of one held true
And a hundred and fifty-nine got through.
And on this one, uncertain and afraid,
She saw the carload of robbers, she said.
One year later she remembered his face
After seeing this car for a second and a half.
She told of his hand and his gun and his ear.
She told of his shirt and the cut of his hair.
Remembered his eyes and his lips and his cheeks,
And Eva Splain's tale sent these men to the chair.
I was right there in Boston the night that they died.
I never did see such a sight in my life:
I thought the crowds would pull down the town
And I was hoping' they'd do it and change things around.
I hoped they'd pull Judge Thayer on down
From off of his bench, and they'd chase him around.
Hoped they'd run him around the stump
And stick him with devil tails about every jump.
Wash this tequila down with gin,
And a double straight shot of your black virgin rum.
My ale bubbled out and my champagne is flat.
I hear the man coming, I'm grabbin' my hat.
Red Wine, as composed and sung by Woody Guthrie in 1946-7 on Ballads of
Sacco and Vanzetti, commissioned by Moses Asch in 1945 for Folkways
Records and Service Corporation, (c) 1960 [FH 5485]. RL
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