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Woody Guthrie

"Old Judge Thayer" (karaoke)

"Old Judge Thayer" (sheet music)


Old Judge Thayer, take your shackle off of me;

Old Judge Thayer, take your shackle off of me;

Turn your key and set me free;

Old Judge Thay'r, take your shackle off of me.

 

The monkey unlocked the courthouse door;

The elephant oiled the hardwood floor;

In did jump the kangaroo,

And in did hop the rabbits, too.

 

Next in come the two baboons;

Next in rolled a dusty storm;

Next in waddled the polar bear

To keep the judge and jury warm.

 

Everyone knows that the mockingbird

Wrote down every word he heard;

The lawyers all were foxes sly

With foxy nose and foxy eye.

 

Old Judge Thayer, take your shackle off of me;

Old Judge Thayer, take your shackle off of me;

Turn your key and set me free;

Old Judge Thay'r, take your shackle off of me.

 

The 'possum used the big, stiff broom;

Then, he polished the new spitoon;

Up did smile the crocodile, said:

"Here comes the jury down the aisle."

 

The old, lady catfish asked the trout,

"What is this trial all about?"

The little, baby suckerfish up and said,

"The judge had caught him a couple of Reds."

 

The rattlesnake asked the bumblebee,

"Whose this Sacco and Vanzetti?"

"Are they the men," said mama quail,

That shot the clerks at the Slater Mill?"

 

The mosquito sung out with his wings,

"I was there and saw the whole blamed thing.

I saw the robbers fire their guns,

But I didn't see these men, neither one."

 

Old Judge Thayer, take your shackle off of me;

Old Judge Thayer, take your shackle off of me;

Turn your key and set me free;

Old Judge Thay'r, take your shackle off of me.

 

The big-eyed owl, she looked around,

"They say that Sacco's cap was found

Down on Pearl Street on the ground

Where the payroll guards both got shot down."

 

"That cap don't fit on Sacco's head,"

A big, black crow flapped up and said,

"They tried that cap on Sacco here,

And it fell down around both his ears."

 

The camel asked the old giraffe,

"Did these two fellows duck the draft

By running below the Mexican line

To keep from fighting on the rich man's side?"

 

The limber duck did rattle his bill,

"All the ducks and geese are flying still

Down towards Mexico's warm sun

To try and dodge the rich man's gun."

 

Old Judge Thayer, take your shackle off of me;

Old Judge Thayer, take your shackle off of me;

Turn your key and set me free;

Old Judge Thay'r, take your shackle off of me.

 

Up did waddle the lucey goose,

"I think these men should be turned loose,

But old Judge Thayer has sworn to his friends

These men will get the chair or noose."

 

And when the guilty verdict came,

And seven years in jail they'd laid,

And when these two men there did die,

The animals met on earth and sky:

 

"Oh, see what greed and fear can do;

See how it killed these sons so true;

Us varmits gotta get together, too,

Before Judge Thayer kills me and you."


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