A Whole Lot of Money (Live)

Image and caption: Waiting for the semimonthly relief checks at Calipatria, Imperial Valley, California. Typical story: fifteen years ago they owned farms in Oklahoma. Lost them through foreclosure when cotton prices fell after the war. Became tenants and sharecroppers. With the drought and dust they came West, 1934-1937. Never before left the county where they were born. Now although in California over a year they haven’t been continuously resident in any single county long enough to become a legal resident. Reason: migratory agricultural laborers, Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress), LC-USF34- 016271-C 


Some hard knocks’ll teach you lots of things you ain’t never learnt in school–

Like when you’re certain you’re the wiser man you just might be The Greater Fool

I went rags to riches, then right back, on account of wanting “more”–

I traded all the “finer things” for a shot at one big score

Silver in the cupboard, carpet in the hall—

I made a whole lot of money, but then I lost it all

When you’re flush the bankers beg to be the next to lend to you

But don’t expect no kindness when they call that credit due

And when you’ve cash to burn your congressman cares what you’ve got to say

But when your fortunes take a turn– you won’t get the time of day

I had ten bankers and the governor at my beck and call—

I made a whole lot of money, but then I lost it all

It’s printed on the dollar, bold as brass “In God We Trust”

But if you’re banking on a “boom” sir He just might send you a bust

If you think you’re in good graces with the man upstairs

You just might mistake some dumb luck for a sign he really cares

I should have seen it coming, pride went before my fall— I made a whole lot of money, but then (just like that) I lost it al