The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #1052   Message #3910634
Posted By: Jim Dixon
12-Mar-18 - 08:41 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Pastures of Plenty (Woody Guthrie)
Subject: Lyr Add: PASTURES OF PLENTY (Woody Guthrie)
If you're a student of dialect, or if you are simply anal enough to want to know exactly what Woody sang, this should fit the bill. I have boldfaced the words that are different between my transcription and the lyrics posted by Q above.

As recorded by Woody Guthrie on "The Asch Recordings, Vol. 1-4"*

1. It's a mighty hard road that my poor hand has hoed.
My poor feet has traveled a hot dusty road.
Out of your dust bowl and westward we rolled,
And your desert was
hot and your mountains was cold.

2. I worked in your orchards of peaches and prunes,
Slept on the ground in the light of your moon.

On the edge of your city, you'll see us and then
We come with the dust and we go with the wind.

3. California an' Arizona, I make all your crops,
Then it's north up to Oregon to gather your hops,
Dig the beets from your ground, cut the grapes from your vine,
To set on your table your light sparkling wine.

4. Green pastures of plenty from dry desert ground,
From that Grand Coulee Dam where the water runs down.
Ever' state in this union us migrants have been.
[We'll] work in this fight and we'll fight till we win.

5. Well, it's always we rambled, that river and I.
All along your green valley I'll work till I die.
My land I'll defend with my life if it be,
'Cause my pastures of plenty must always be free.

[* There is some confusion out there. Wikipedia says the Asch recordings were made in 1944-45, and it doesn't list PASTURES OF PLENTY as one of them; in a separate article, it says P.o.P. was recorded in 1941. Yet P.o.P. is included on Disc 1 of the 4-CD set called "The Asch Recordings" published by Smithsonian Folkways in 1999. Anyway, the same recording, about 2:28 in length, appears on many other albums. There seem to be a couple of other recordings which I will document separately.]