Ghosts of ’29

Still working on recording this one

Image:  Unemployment benefits aid begins. Line of men inside a division office of the State Employment Service office at San Francisco, California, waiting to register for benefits on one of the first days the office was open. They will receive from six to fifteen dollars per week for up to sixteen weeks. Coincidental with the announcement that the federal unemployment census showed close to ten million persons out of work, twenty-two states begin paying unemployment compensation  Farm Security Administration LC-USF34- 018312-D


Daddy said “Make sure you shine your shoes, son
That’s the first thing that they look at—
The hiring man is quick to pass you over
If you give him some excuse”

The Ghosts of ’29 are restless in their graves
Stirred by the tread of desperate workers
Getting marched in line like slaves
‘Cause the Ghosts of ’29 lived through times like these before:
When hunger’s knocking steps behind a banker at the door

Momma said “Make sure you say your prayers, child
Though it seems like no one’s listening—
We’ll wait patiently for justice
By and by, Lord, by and by”

The Ghosts of ’29 are having trouble lying still
‘Cause hard times hit the worker hardest then
And it seems they always will
The Ghosts of ’29 teach lessons we should learn:
When the fat cats start a fire, the little guy gets burned

I hear the Ghosts of ’29 in the factories and the fields
On the shop floors, in the shotgun shacks, and in the union halls
I hear the Ghosts of ’29 in the corridors of power
In the mansions on the hilltops behind their high stone walls

As the Ghosts of ’29 awake and raise their voices
From the first whistle in the morning
‘Till the last shift ends a t night:
Inspiration to the worker, and a warning for the bosses:
“You can’t undo the past’s injustice
But tomorrow you can start to set it right”