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Old Judge Thayer

Woody Guthrie
Language: English



Old Judge Thayer, take your shackle off of me;
Old Judge Thayer, take your shackle off of me.
Turn your key and set me free,
Old Judge Thayer, take your shackle off of me.

The monkey unlocked the courthouse door,
An' the elephant oiled the hardwood floor;
In did jump the kangaroo,
An' in did hop the rabbits, too.

Next in come the two baboons,
Next in rolled a dusty storm,
Next in waddled the polar bear
To keep the judge and jury warm.

Ever'body knows the mockingbird
Wrote down ever' word he heard;
The lawyers all were foxy-sly,
With a foxy nose an' a foxy eye.

The 'possum used the big stiff broom,
Then he polished the new spitoon;
Up did smile the crocodile,
Said, "Here comes the jury down the aisle."

Old momma catfish asked the trout,
"What's this trial here all about?"
Little baby suckerfish upped and said,
"The Judge has caught him a couple of Reds."

Well, the rattlesnake asked the bumble bee,
"Who's this Sacco an' Vanzetti?"
"Are they the men," asked the momma quail,
"That shot the clerks at the Slater Mill?"

The mosquito sung out with his wings,
Said, "I was there an' seen the whole durn thing;
Saw the robbers fire their guns,
But I didn't see these men, neither one."

Well, the big-eyed owl looked around,
"They said that Sacco's cap was found
Down on Pearl Street, on the ground,
Where the payroll guards both got shot down."

"That cap don't fit on Sacco's head,"
The big black crow flapped up and said,
"They tried that cap on Sacco here,
And it fell down around both his ears."

Well, the camel asked the old giraffe,
"Did these two fellas duck the draft,
By runnin' down below the Mexican line?
To keep from fightin' on the rich man's side?"

The lumber duck did rattle his bill,
"All the ducks and geese are flyin' still
Down toward Mexico's warm sun
To try to dodge the rich man's gun."

Up did waddle a lucey goose,
"I think these men ought to be turned loose.
But old Judge Thayer, he swore to his friends
These men'll get a chair or the noose."

When the guilty verdict came,
An' seven years in jail they'd laid,
When these two men there did die,
The animals met on the earth and sky.

"See what fear and greed can do,
See how it killed these sons so true.
Us varmints has got to get together, too,
Before Judge Thayer kills me and you."


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