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Tom Joad

This song is by Country Joe McDonald and appears on the album Thinking of Woody Guthrie (1969).

Guthrie

Tom Joad got out of that old McAlester pen
'Twas there that he got his parole
After four long years on a man killing charge
Tom Joad came a-walking down the road, poor boy,
Tom Joad came a-walking down the road.
It was there that he found him a truck driving man,
It was there that he caught him a ride.
He said, "I just got loose from McAlester pen
On a charge called homicide, great God,
A charge called homicide."
The truck rolled away in a big cloud of dust
And Tommy turned his face towards home.
He met Preacher Casey and they had a little drink
And he found out his family they was gone, Tom Joad,
He found out his family they was gone.
He found his mother's old-fashioned shoes
He found his daddy's hat
He found little Muley and little Muley said,
"They've been tractored out by the cats, Tom,
They've been tractored out by the cats."
Then Tom he walked to the neighboring farm,
He found his family.
They took Preacher Casey and they loaded in the car
And his mama said, "We got to get away, Tom."
His mama said, "We got to get away".
The twelve of the Joads made a mighty heavy load
And grandpa Joad, he cried.
He picked up a handful of land in his hand,
He said, "I'm sticking with my farm until I die."
He said, "I'm sticking with my farm until I die."
They fed him spare ribs and coffee and soothing syrup
And grandpa Joad, he died.
We buried grandpa Joad on the Oklahoma road
And grandma on the California side
And grandma on the California side.
We stood on a mountain and we looked to the West,
It looked like the Promised Land.
Was a big green valley with a river running through
And there was work for every single hand, we thought,
Work for every single hand.
The Joads rolled in to the Jungle Camp,
It was there that they cooked them a stew
And the hungry little kids in the Jungle Camp
Said, "We'd like to have some, too,
Yes, we'd like to have some, too."
A deputy sheriff fired loose at a man,
He shot a woman in the back,
But before he could take his aim again
It was Preacher Casey dropped him in his tracks,
Good boy, Preacher Casey dropped him in his tracks.
Well, they handcuffed Casey and they took him to jail
And then he got away.
He met Tom Joad by the old river bridge
And these few words he did say, Preacher Casey,
These few words he did say:
"Well, I preached for the Lord a mighty long time,
I preached about the rich and the poor,
But us workin' folks has got to stick together
Or we ain't got a chance anymore, God knows,
We ain't got a chance anymore."
Then the deputies come and Tom and Casey run
To the place where the water run down
And the vigilante bug hit Casey with a club
And he laid Preacher Casey on the ground
And he laid Preacher Casey on the ground.
Tom Joad he grabbed the deputy's club,
He banged it down on his head
When Tommy took flight in that dark and rainy night
Was a preacher and a deputy lying dead, two men,
A preacher and a deputy lying dead.
Tommy went back to where his mama was asleep,
He woke her up out of bed.
He kissed goodbye to the mother that he loved
And he said what Preacher Casey said, Tom Joad,
He said what Preacher Casey said.
Everybody might be just one big soul
It looks that-a way to me
So everywhere you look in the day or night
That's where I'm gonna be, Ma,
That's where I'm gonna be.
Wherever little kids are hungry and cry,
Wherever people ain't free,
Wherever men are fighting for their rights
That's where I'm gonna be, Ma,
That's where I'm gonna be.

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