Ballad Of The Deportee

Lyrics: Woody Guthrie
Music: Woody Guthrie

Played by the New Riders of the Purple Sage in the late 1970s and more recently by the David Nelson Band.

The crops are all in and the peaches are rotting
The oranges are piled in their creosote dumps
They're flying them back to that Mexico border
To pay all their money to wade back again

Some of us are illegal, others not wanted
Their work contracts out, and they've got to move on
It's six hundred miles to that Mexico border
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves

Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye Rosalita
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria
You won't have a name when you ride the big airplane
And all they will call you will be deportee

The airplane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon
Like a fireball of lightning, it shook all our hills
Who are these friends all falling like dry leaves
The radio says they are just deportees

No tendras su nombre [?] avion (note 1)
Il solo [?] deportee
(1) I don't speak Spanish, so any help greatfully received! It is the last two lines of the chorus.

The New Riders missed out several of the verses from Woody Guthries original:
My father's own father he waded that river
They took all the money he made in his life
My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees
And they rode on the trucks 'til they took down and died

We died in your hills and we died on your deserts
We died in your valleys we died on your plains
We died 'neath your trees aAnd we died in your bushes
Both sides of that river we died just the same

Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
To fall like dry leaves and rot on my topsoil
And be known by no name except deportee
New Riders Recordings
     Date Album
     1985 Marin County Line


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