What are Working Folks to Do?

Image  On U.S. 99. Near Brawley, Imperial County. Homeless family of seven, walking the highway from Phoenix, Arizona, where they picked cotton. Bound for San Diego, where the father hopes to get on the relief because he once lived there  Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black and White Negatives, U.S. Library of Congress, LC-USF34- 019075-E

Lyrics

Without so much as “how d’you do sir?” or “appreciate it, thanks!”
They took money from our pockets and gave it to the banks
Who came collecting on the mortgage and put us on the street
Where we’ve been scratching for survival, sleeping on our feet
‘Cause the cops would come to roust us when we found a place to lie
Unwelcome back in town we tried gave the countryside a try
But the farmers they don’t want us ‘cause the river’s running dry
What are working folks to do?
Well I guess we’re supposed to die
What are working folks to do?
Well I guess we’re supposed to die

The boss shut down the factory and put a big lock on the door
“Fellas clear on outta here, ‘cause we don’t want you anymore”
The government man he queued us up for charity instead
‘Til so many hungry people showed they ran all outta bread
When we’re getting’ weaker by the minute like cattle being bled
Who’ll work the mines and mills and farms if there are better times ahead?
So I buttonholed the bankerman and this is what I said:
What are you fat cats gonna do
When us working folks are dead?
What are you fat cats gonna do sir
When us working folks are dead?

When no one cares to help you and you can’t care for your own
So your kids are going hungry it cuts you to the bone
When there ain’t no better answer to “daddy what else can we try?”
Than what are working folks to do son–
I guess we’re supposed to die
What are working folks to do son?
I guess we’re supposed to die

Copyright 2013 by Bryan Kirschner

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