(chorus) If you write too many songs and you side with the poor And you refuse to be a wage slave They will say you’re “insane”, they will put you away Like they drove Woody Guthrie to his grave.
(verses) He walked around the land and spoke with men and women And wrote a thousand songs to tell the truth The media barons, they felt he was too red And his exclusion drove him to booze. (chorus)
He wrote a big long book which no one would publish Because it spoke too much of love He saw that nine-to-five was a big waste of life But few understood what he said. (chorus)
They said he was “too old” to refuse to settle down They ordered him to act like other men But when he refused, they said he had “a disease” And they locked him in a mental hospital bed. (chorus)
The capitalists got rich from the songs of the communist Whom they kept hidden away with the insane They marketed his legend while they took away his pen Yes, they drove Woody Guthrie to his grave. (chorus)
The They Drove Woody Guthrie protest folk song was written in the late 1970s or early 1980s.
To listen to the They Drove Woody Guthrie protest folk song, you can click on the following links:
As early as 1947, U.S. folksinger Woody Guthrie urged people to fight against the Big Media. In a May 15, 1947 letter, for instance, Guthrie wrote the following:
“We’ve got to break down this log jam, this taboo, this blacklist, this door of distribution that is locked against us. And if I sign over on the log jammers side I’d be used against everybody and everything we believe in.” (Downtown 7/27/94)