|Talking Merchant Marine
(also known as Talking Sailor)
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie
In bed with my woman, just singin' the blues,
Heard the radio tellin' the news:
That the big Red Army took a hundred towns,
And Allies droppin' them two-ton bombs.
Started hollerin', yellin', dancin' up and down like a bullfrog!
Doorbell rung and in come a man,
I signed my name, I got a telegram.
Said, "If you wanna take a vacation trip,
Got a dish-washin' job on a Liberty ship."
Woman a-cryin', me a-flyin', out the door and down the line!
'Bout two minutes I run ten blocks,
I come to my ship, down at the dock;
Walked up the plank, and I signed my name,
Blowed that whistle, was gone again!
Right on out and down the stream, ships as fur as my eye could see, woman a-waitin'.
Ship loaded down with TNT
All out across the rollin' sea;
Stood on the deck, watched the fishes swim,
I'se a-prayin' them fish wasn't made out of tin.
Sharks, porpoises, jellybeans, rainbow trouts, mudcats, jugars, all over that water.
This convoy's the biggest I ever did see,
Stretches all the way out across the sea;
And the ships blow the whistles and a-rang her bells,
Gonna blow them fascists all to hell!
Win some freedom, liberty, stuff like that.
Walked to the tail, stood on the stern,
Lookin' at the big brass screw blade turn;
Listened to the sound of the engine pound,
Gained sixteen feet every time it went around.
Gettin' closer and closer, look out, you fascists.
I'm just one of the merchant crew,
I belong to the union called the N. M. U.
I'm a union man from head to toe,
I'm U. S. A. and C. I. O.
Fightin' out here on the waters to win some freedom on the land.
*This song is available in the "Pastures of Plenty: The Unpublished Writings of Woody Guthrie" edited by Harold Leventhal and Dave Marsh. This book is no longer in print.
© Copyright 1958 (renewed) and 1986 (renewed) by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc.