California Cottonfields Lyrics

by Merle Haggard

My driftin' memory goes back to the spring of '43
When I was just a child in momma's arms
My daddy plowed the ground and prayed someday he could leave
This run-down mortgaged Oklahoma farm

And then one night I heard my daddy sayin' to my momma
That he'd finally saved enough to go
California was his dream, a paradise for he had seen
Pictures in magazines that told him so

California cottonfields
Where labor camps were filled
With worried men with broken dreams
California cottonfields
As close to wealth as daddy ever came

Almost everything we had was sold or left behind
From my daddy's plow to the fruit that momma canned
Some folks came to say farewell or see what all we had to sell
Some just came to shake my daddy's hand

That model a was loaded down and California bound
And a change of luck was just four days away
But the only change that I remember seein' for my daddy
Was when his dark hair turned to silver gray

California cottonfields
Where labor camps were filled
With worried men with broken dreams
California cottonfields
As close to wealth as daddy ever came