Lyrics: Woody Guthrie.
Tune: Woody Guthrie.
The year now is Nineteen and Twenty, kind friends,
And the great world’s war we have won.
Old Kaiser Bill, we have beat him once again
In the smoke of the canon and the gun.
Old Von Hindenburg and his Royal German Army,
They are tramps in tatters and in rags.
Uncle Sammy has tied every nation in this world
In his long, old leather moneybags.
Wilson caught a trip and a train into Paris,
Meeting Lloyd George and Mister Clemenceau.
They said to Mister Wilson, “We’ve staked off our claims.
There is nothing else for you.”
“I plowed more lands, I built bigger fact’ries,
And I stopped Hindenburg in his tracks.
You thank the Yanks by claiming all the lands,
But you still owe your money to my bank.”
“Keep sending your ships across these waters.
We’ll borrow all the money you can lend.
We must buy new clothes, new plows and fact’ries,
And we need golden dollars for to spend.”
Every dollar in the world, well, it rolled and it rolled
And it rolled into Uncle Sammy’s door.
A few got richer and richer and richer,
But the poor folks kept but getting poor.
Well, the workers in the world did fight a revolution
To chase out the gamblers from their land.
Farmers and peasants and workers in the city
Fought together on their five-year plans.
The soul and the spirit of the workers’ revolution
Spread across every nation in this world
From Italy to China to Europe and to India,
And the blood of the workers it did spill.
This spirit split the wind to Boston, Massachusetts
With Coolidge on the governor’s chair.
The troopers and soldiers, the guards and spies
Fought the workers that brought the spirit there.
Sacco and Vanzetti had preached to the workers.
They were carried up to Old Judge Thayer.
They were charged with killing the payroll guards,
And they died in the Charlestown chair.
Sacco had come from the mountains of Italy,
Had a wife and children three.
Vanzetti sold fish on the streets of North Plymouth,
Was a writer of workers’ poetry.
Well, the world shook harder on the night they died
Than ’twas shaken by that great world’s war.
More millions did march for Sacco and Vanzetti
Than did march for the great warlords.
More millions did pray, more millions, they did sing,
More millions, they did weep and cry
This August night in Nineteen and Twenty-Seven
When strapped there in that chair they did die.
More millions saw the light, more millions joined the fight,
More millions from shore unto shore
Than ever did fight for the rich man’s hire
Or dress in the warrior’s uniform.
Well, the peasants, the farmers, the towns and the cities,
And the hills and the valleys, they did ring.
Hindenburg and Wilson, and Harding, Hoover, Coolidge
Never heard this many voices sing.
The zigzag lightning, the rumbles of the thunder,
And the singing of the clouds blowing by,
The flood and the storm for Sacco and Vanzetti
Caused the rich man to pull his hair and cry.