The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #581   Message #3870653
Posted By: Joe Offer
08-Aug-17 - 08:54 PM
Thread Name: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
Subject: RE: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
Hi, Phil -
I've sometimes wondered how the bracero program affected those farm workers who lived here in the U.S. permanently. This is another of those issues where there are many factors and many sides, and a lot of anger and passion defending each perspective.

I've spent a fair amount of time visiting workers in the field and in the labor camps. It's a really tough life, especially when the weather gets hot here in California. I think we're at 45 days in a row this year with temperatures over 90. I'm glad I can hide inside in the afternoon.

Here's "Bracero," by Phil Ochs. I wonder why Ochs has the braceros wading across the border waters - I thought they came here legally. I wonder how much Woody and Phil Ochs actually knew about the farmworkers. I think it's possible that Woody knew quite a bit, since he spent quite a bit of time here in California.

Thread #17492   Message #3680056
Posted By: Joe Offer
26-Nov-14 - 12:27 AM
Thread Name: Lyr/Chords Req: Songs by Phil Ochs
Subject: ADD: Bracero (Phil Ochs)

BRACERO
(Phil Ochs)

Wade into the river through the rippling shallow water
Steal across the thirsty border, Bracero
Come bring your hungry body to the golden fields of plenty
From a peso to a penny, Bracero
Oh, welcome to California
Where the friendly farmers will take care of you


Come labor for your mother, for your father and your brother
For your sisters and your lover, Bracero
Come pick the fruits of yellow, break the flowers from the berries
Purple grapes will fill your bellies, Bracero

And the sun will bite your body as the dust will draw you thirsty
While your muscles beg for mercy, Bracero
In the shade of your sombrero drop your sweat upon the soil
Like the fruit your youth can spoil, Bracero

When the weary night embraces sleep in shacks that could be cages
They will take it from your wages, Bracero
Come sing about tomorrow with a jingle of the dollars
And forget your crooked collar, Bracero

And the local men are lazy and they make too much of trouble
Besides we'd have to pay them double, Bracero
Ah but if you feel you're fallin' if you find the pace is killing,
There are others who are willing, Bracero

Phil Ochs
On his There But for Fortune & In Concert On Joe Jencks Links in a Chain, Annie Wenz Let's Dance