Woody Guthrie on Trump Sr.

When Woody Guthrie and family were living on Mermaid Avenue, Coney Island, his landlord was Fred Trump, the father of our Commander and Thief. Of course he wrote a song about him. This is the only known audio of Woody singing it. Remember, by time he recorded this Huntington’s Disease had already forced him in hospital. And yes that is a picture of Trump the Elder. What is it they say about the tangerine not falling far from the tree?

Here are the complete lyrics:

I suppose that Old Man Trump knows just how much racial hate
He stirred up in that bloodpot of human hearts
When he drawed that color line
Here at his Beach Haven family project

Beach Haven ain’t my home!
No, I just can’t pay this rent!
My money’s down the drain,
And my soul is badly bent!
Beach Haven is Trump’s Tower
Where no black folks come to roam,
No, no, Old Man Trump!
Old Beach Haven ain’t my home!

I’m calling out my welcome to you and your man both
Welcoming you here to Beach Haven
To love in any way you please and to have some kind of a decent place
To have your kids raised up in.

Beach Haven ain’t my home!
No, I just can’t pay this rent!
My money’s down the drain,
And my soul is badly bent!
Beach Haven is Trump’s Tower
Where no black folks come to roam,
No, no, Old Man Trump!
Old Beach Haven ain’t my home!

Ryan Harvey set them to music and performs them here with Ani DiFranco and Tom Morello (aka The Night Watchman.)

Tim Grimm used this song and parts of Woody’s autobiography “Bound for Glory” to create “Woody’s Landlord”

There are many songs about Woody. Here are a few of my favorites. Yes, I know I should have done this yesterday which was the anniversary of Woody’s birth. Ya can’t think of everything…. or at least I can’t….

This is Alun Parry, a songwriter and organizer from Liverpool who wears his heart and his working class politics on his sleeve. This song is based on writings by Guthrie published in “Woody Sez” This is a collection of columns that he did for The Sunday Worker (or as he called it, The Sabbath Employee) which was a publication of the West Coast Branch of the CPUSA. Sadly the book is long out of print and Amazon is asking as much as $172.89 for a new copy. Here’s a link where you can order used copies for a tenth the price. You should, you know. The original is on his album “Corridors of Stone.”

A lot of people call Bob Childers an Americana songwriter, but he’s better than that. He was the narrator for that wonderful stage production about Woody called “Ribbon of Highway”. This is a live version of a song that appears on his album “Nothin’ More Natural.”

Finally, here’s Alastair Moock with a live version of his song “Woody’s Lament” recorded at the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Mansfield, MA. I’m proud to say that Moock is a product of the Camberville music scene. (Or are we calling it Somerbridge this week?) The original version is on his album “Fortune Street.”

 

 

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