You Souls of Boston (Woody Guthrie)

“You Souls of Boston” Sheet Music (pdf).
“You Souls of Boston” Karaoke (midi with lyrics).

Lyrics: Woody Guthrie.
Tune: Woody Guthrie.


You souls of Boston, bow your heads.
Your two most noble sons are dead.
Sacco an’ Vanzetti both have died
And drifted out with the Boston tide.

’Twas on the outskirts of this town
Some bandits shot two pay clerks down.
On old Pearl Street in South Braintree,
They grabbed that money and rolled away.

Sacco an’ Vanzetti got arrested then
On a trolley car by the plainclothes men,
Carried down to the Brockton Jail
And laid away in a lonesome cell.

The folks in Plymouth Town did say,
“Vanzetti sold fish in Suassos Lane.
His fish cart was thirty-two miles away
From old Pearl Street this fatal day.”

Sacco’s fam’ly hugged and kissed their dad,
Said, “Take this fam’ly picture to the passport man.”
He was in that office forty odd miles away
From old Pearl Street this fatal day.

One lady, by the name of Eva Splaine,
Saw the robbers jump in their car and drive away.
For a second and a half, she seen this speeding car,
And she swore Sacco was their guilty man.

It was twenty or thirty of fifty more
Said, “Sacco was not in that robber’s car.”
Judge Webster Thayer stuck by Eva Splaine,
Said, “Sacco was their guilty man.”

Missus Sacco was heavy then with child.
She walked to Sacco’s cell and cried.
The Morelli Gang just down the corridor
Signed confessions they killed those payroll guards.

“We seen Missus Sacco pregnant there.
We heard her cry and tear her hair.
We had to ease our guilty hearts
And admit we killed those payroll guards.”

Judge Webster Thayer could not allow
The Morelli Gang’s confession to stop him now.
Sacco an’ Vanzetti are union men,
And that verdict, guilty, must come in.

The bullet expert took the stand,
Said, “The bullets from the bodies of the two dead men
Could not have been fired from Sacco’s gun
Nor from Vanzetti’s gun have come.”

It was sixty-three days this trial did last.
Then seven dark years come a-crippling past
Locked down in that mean, old Charlestown Jail
Then by an electric spark was killed.

Old Boston City was a dark, old town.
This summer’s night in June, the switch went down.
The people, they cried and marched and sung
In every tongue this world around.

You souls of Boston, bow your heads.
Our two most noble sons are dead.
Where the people’s army marches now to fight,
Sacco an’ Vanzetti will give us light.


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