words and music by Woody Guthrie
While we're on the subject of hard work, I just wanted
to say that I always was a man to work.
I was born working and I worked my way up by hard
work. I ain't never got nowhere yet but I got there by
Work of the hardest kind. I been down and I been out
and I've been busted, disgusted and couldn't be trusted.
I worked my way up and I worked my way down. I've
been drunk and I've been sober. I've had hard times
and I got hijacked and been robbed for cash and robbed
Worked my way into jail and outta jail and I woke up
a lotta mornings and I didn't even know where I was at.
But the hardest work I ever done is when I was trying
to get myself a worried woman to ease my worried
Now I'm gonna tell you just about how much hard
work I had to do to get this here woman that I'm a-tellin'
I shook hands with 97 of her kinfolks and her blood
relatives and I done the same with 86 people that was
just her friends and her neighbors.
Kissed 73 babies and put dry pants on 34 of 'em, as well
as others, and done the When thing several times, as well
as a lot of other things just about like this.
I held 125 head of wild horses, put saddles and bridles
on more than that, harnessed some of the craziest,
wildest teams in the whole country. I rode 14 loco
broncos to a dead standstill and let 42 hound dogs lick
me all over.
7 times I was bit by hungry dogs and I was chewed
all to pieces by water moccasins and rattlesnakes on
2 separate river bottoms.
I chopped and I carried 314 arm loads of stoved
wood; 100 buckets of coal, and I carried a gallon of
kerosene 18 miles and lost a good pair of shoes in a
And I chopped and I weeded 48 rows of short cotton,
13 acres of bad corn and cut the sticker weeds out of
11 back yards, all on account a 'cause I wanted to
show her that I was a man and I liked to work
I cleaned out 9 barnloads, and cranked 31 automobiles,
all makes and models, pulled 3 cars out of mud
holes and 4 out of snowdrifts.
I dug 5 cisterns of water for some of her friends and
neighbors and run all kinds of errands.
I played the fiddle for 9 church meetings and I joined
11 separate denominations. I signed up and joined
up for 7 of the best trade unions I could find and paid
my dues about 6 weeks ahead of time, waded 40
miles of swamps, 60 big rivers, walked across 2
mountain ranges and crossed 3 deserts.
I got the fever and I got the sun stroke and I got the
malaria and I got the flu and I got moonstruck and
skeeter bit, the poison ivy and the 7 year itch and the
I was given up for lost and dead about 2 dozen times.
Struck by lightning, struck by Congress, struck
by friends and kinfolks, as well as by 3 cars on
the highways and a lotta times in peoples'
I been hit and run down and run over and
walked on and knocked around and I'm just
settin' here now trying to study up what else I
can do to show that woman that I still ain't afraid
of hard work.