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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Art Thieme Objectionable Material - The sequel (62* d) Lyr Add: EAST TEXAS RED^^ 02 May 98


Here's one that might be "objectionable" to some. It's probably the least compromising song that Woodrow Wilson Guthrie ever wrote!! I present it here to honor the Haymarket martyrs!!! This song covers hard times, up-against it folks, sadistic bulls and surgical revenge! When the social system fails and the basics of life (food-shelter-dignity) are denied to those who have trickled down and fallen through the many holes in the so-called safety net, folks are sometimes forced to resort to drastic measures to ensure survival during hostile times. This is on Cisco Houston's last LP for Vanguard---___I AINT GOT NO HOME___. It is also on one I did, ___That"s The TICKET___(Folk Legacy FSI-90)

Art Thieme


"EAST TEXAS RED"
by Woody Guthrie

Down in the scrub oak country of the south-east Texas gulf,
There used to ride a brakeman--and a brakeman double tough,
He worked the town of Kilgore and Longview 12 miles down,
And the 'boes all said little East Texas Red was the meanest bull around.

It was on one cold and drizzly day long about nine or ten,
A couple o' bums on the hunt of a job stood in the blizzardy wind,
Hungry and cold they knocked on the doors of the working people all around,
For a piece of meat--a carrot or a spud--for to boil their stew around.

Now, whether you ride in the dim moonlight or the shimmering heat o' the sun,
You can always see little East Texas Red just sportin' his cool running gun,
And the tale got switched down to stems and mains and everybody said,
That the meanest bull on them shiny irons was little East Texas Red.

Now Red he come on down the line and he waved old number two,
He kicked their bucket over a bush and dumped out all of their stew,
One of the boys said, "East Texas Red, you better get your business straight,
'Cause you're gonna ride that little black train just one year from this date.

Now, Red he laughed and he clumb the bank and he jumped on the side of a wheeler,
The boys caught a tanker for Seminole, then north, to Amarillo,
They found them a job of oil field work and followed that pipeline down,
It took 'em to a hell of a lot of places before that year had rolled around.

Then on one cold and drizzly day they caught them a gulf-bound train,
Shivered and shook with the dough in their pockets to the scrub-oak flats again,
They followed the ties past the cinder dump 'til they come to the very same spot,
And there the same old 'boes sat down around that same stew pot.

The smoke from their fire went higher and higher and Red come down the line,
He shivered and shook with the snow in his face as he waved old number nine,
He followed the ties past the cinder dump 'til he come to the very same spot,
And there he spied the same old 'boes settin' 'round the same stew pot!

Red went to his knees and he hollered, "Please, don't pull that trigger on me,
I did not get my business straight...", but he did not get his say,
A gun wheeled out from an overcoat and it played the old one-two,
And Red was dead when the other men set down to eat their stew.


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