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TALKING SAILOR

(Woody Guthrie)


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Lyrics as performed by John Greenway on 'Talking Blues', Folkways, 1958.
Originally recorded by Woody Guthrie on Asch album #347


In bed with a woman, just a-singin' the blues,
I heard the radio tellin' the news:
Said the Big Red Army took a hundred towns,
Allies droppin' them two-ton bombs.
Started hollerin'. Yellin'.
Jumpin' up and down like a bullfrog.

Doorbell rung and in come a man,
I signed my name, got a telegram.
Said if you want to take a vacation trip,
Got a dish-washing job on a Liberty ship.
Woman a-cryin'. Me a-flyin'.
Out the door and down the line.

'Bout two minutes I run ten blocks,
I come to my ship, down at the docks;
Walked up the plank, and signed my name,
Blowed that whistle, she's gone again.
Right on out and down the stream. Ship's as fur's my eye can see.
Woman a-waitin'.

Ships loaded down with TNT
All out across that rollin' sea;
Stood on the deck, watched the fishes swim,
Prayin' them fish wasn't made out of tin.
Sharks. Porpoises. Jellybeans. Rainbow trouts. Mudcats. Jewgars.
All over the water.

This convoy's the biggest I ever did see,
Stretches all away out across the sea;
The ships blow their whistles and rang their bells,
Gonna Blow them fascists all to hell.
Win some freedom. Liberty.
Stuff like that.

Well, I walked to the tail, stood on the stern,
Lookin' at the big brass screwblade turn;
Listen to the sound of the engine pound,
Gained sixteen feet every time it went around.
Gettin' closer and closer. Look out, you fascists.

I'm just one of the merchant crew,
I belong to a union called the NMU.
I'm a union man from head to toe,
I'm USA and CIO.
Fightin' out here on the waters, to win some freedom on the land.


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