Two Good Men

Woody Guthrie
Language: English

List of versions

Related Songs

Sacco and Vanzetti
(Against All Authority)
Root Hog And Die
(Woody Guthrie)
Harriet Tubman's Ballad
(Woody Guthrie)

Testo e musica di Woody Guthrie
Lyrics and music by Woody Guthrie

Questa canzone, assieme ad altre, fu commissionata a Woody Guthrie tra il 1945 e il 1947 da Moses Asch

Woody Guthrie: The Ballads of Sacco and Vanzetti


1. The Flood And The Storm
2. I Just Want To Sing Your Name
3. Old Judge Thayer
4. Red Wine
5. Root Hog And Die
6. Suassos Lane
7. Two Good Men
8. Vanzetti's Letter
9. Vanzetti's Rock
10. We Welcome To Heaven
11. You Souls Of Boston
12. Sacco's Letter To His Son (Pete Seeger)

Ballads of Sacco and Vanzetti è una raccolta di ballate folk scritte e interpretate dal cantautore americano Woody Guthrie, ispirate alla vicenda di Sacco e Vanzetti. Le ballate furono commissionate da Moses Asch nel 1945, e registrate tra il 1946 e il 1947. Guthrie non completò mai il progetto, e si ritenne insoddisfatto dal lavoro, sebbene suo figlio Arlo Guthrie, a sua volta cantautore professionista, giudicò le ballate del ciclo "Sacco e Vanzetti", tra le migliori mai composte da suo padre. Una canzone inedita, "Sacco's Letter To His Son", fu registrata da Pete Seeger per il progetto.

Ballads of Sacco & Vanzetti is a set of ballad songs, written and performed by Woody Guthrie, related to the trial, conviction and execution of Sacco and Vanzetti. The series was commissioned by Moe Asch in 1945 and recorded in 1946 and 1947. Guthrie never completed the project and was unsatisfied by the result. The project was released later in its abandoned form by Asch. An unreleased track, "Sacco's Letter To His Son" was recorded by Pete Seeger for the project.

Moses ("Moe") Asch

Moses Asch.
Moses Asch.

Moses Asch was the founder/head of Folkways Records, which made available the music of Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. Without this music, what would Dylan have been? Tom Piazza, writing in the April 1995 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, gives a history of Folkway Records and of Moses Asch:

"Born in Poland in 1905, Asch arrived in the United States when he was ten years old. He spent a few years in German in the early 1920s, studying electronics, but by the time he found himself back in New York, in 1926, his interest in American folk music had been stirred by his discovery, in a bookstall on a Paris quay, of John Lomax's book Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads.

"While building radio equipment and arranging sound systems for clients ranging from Yiddish theaters to burlesque houses on the Lower East Side, Asch came up with the idea of creating a record label to document the music that the larger commercial labels tended to leave alone.

"His idea was nourished not only by a love for the music itself but also by a brand of leftist populism in which folk expression was a voice for the disenfranchised. By taste and political conviction, Asch was attracted to the raw and the otherwise unheard.

"In the early 1940s he started two record companies, Asch and Disc. Both failed. Before folding them Asch recorded his most important artists -- the singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie and great twelve-string guitarist and singer Leadbelly.

"In 1947 Asch started Folkways, and this time it worked. Until his death, in 1986, Asch was Folkways' president, chief financial officer, talent scout, audio engineer, and sometimes shipping clerk."

"In 1987, the Smithsonian bought out Folkways, agreeing to keep all 2,200 Folkways albums in print. By writing or calling Smithsonian/Folkways (414 Hungerford Drive, Suite 444, Rockville, MD 20850; 301-443-2314 or fax 301-443-1819) one can order any Folkways title and receive a high-quality cassette, along with the original descriptive notes, for about $11. A free copy of the The Whole Folkways Catalogue, which lists every title, should be ordered first.

"It is," concludes Piazza in The Atlantic Monthly, "the definitive guide to Asch's bold, eccentric, priceless legacy."

It was an indirect impact on Dylan, but very major.

Say, there, did you hear the news?
Sacco worked at trimmin' shoes;
Vanzetti was a peddlin' man,
Pushed his fish cart with his hand.

Two good men a long time gone,
Two good men a long time gone,
Sacco an' Vanzetti are gone,
Two good men a long time gone*
*Left me here to sing this song.

Sacco's born across the sea,
Somewhere over in Italy;
Vanzetti born of parents fine,
Drank the best Italian wine.

Sacco sailed the sea one day,
Landed up in the Boston Bay.
Vanzetti sailed the ocean blue,
An' landed up in Boston, too.

Sacco's wife three children had;
Sacco was a family man.
Vanzetti was a dreamin' man,
His book was always in his hands.

Sacco earned his bread and butter
Bein' the factory's best shoe cutter.
Vanzetti spoke both day and night,
Told the workers how to fight.

I'll tell you if you ask me
'Bout this payroll robbery.
Two clerks was killed by the shoe fact'ry,
On the streets in South Braintree.

Judge Thayer told his friends around
That he had cut the radicals down.
"Anarchist bastard" was the name
Judge Thayer called these two good men.

I'll tell you the prosecutor's name,
Katzman, Adams, Williams, Kane.
The Judge and lawyers strutted down,
They done more tricks than circus clowns.

Vanzetti docked in nineteen eight;
Slept along the dirty street,
Told the workers "Organize,"
And on the 'lectric chair he dies.

All you people ought to be like me,
And work like Sacco and Vanzetti,
And everyday find ways to fight
On the union side for the workers' rights.

Well, I ain't got time to tell this tale,
The dicks and bulls are on my trail.
But I'll remember these two good men
That died to show me how to live.

All you people in Suassos Lane,
Sing this song and sing it plain.
All you folks that's comin' along,
Jump in with me and sing this song.

Contributed by Adriana e Riccardo - 2006/1/6 - 15:00

Language: Italian

Traduzione italiana di Riccardo Venturi
2 settembre 2014

Ehi, tu, hai sentito la notizia?
Sacco lavorava facendo scarpe;
Vanzetti faceva il venditore ambulante,
spingeva a mano il suo barroccio di pesce.

Due brav'uomini morti ormai da tanto,
due brav'uomini morti ormai da tanto,
Sacco e Vanzetti sono morti,
due brav'uomini morti ormai da tanto*
*Mi hanno lasciato qui cantare questa canzone

Sacco era nato di là dal mare
da qualche parte laggiù in Italia;
Vanzetti era nato da una buona famiglia,
beveva il migliore vino italiano.

Sacco un giornò si mise per mare
e approdò nella baia di Boston.
Vanzetti navigò per l'oceano azzurro
e anche lui approdò a Boston.

La moglie di Sacco aveva tre figli;
Sacco era un padre di famiglia.
Vanzetti era un sognatore
sempre con un libro in mano.

Sacco si guadagnava il pane
come miglior calzolaio della fabbrica.
Vanzetti parlava giorno e notte
insegnando a lottare ai lavoratori.

Vi racconterò, se me lo domandate,
di quella rapina ai portavalori.
Due dipendenti furono uccisi vicino al calzaturificio
nelle strade di South Braintree.

Il giudice Thayer diceva alla sua cerchia d'amici
che aveva eliminato i sovversivi.
“Bastardi anarchici” era il modo
in cui il giudice Thayer chiamava quei due brav'uomini.

Vi dirò i nomi di quelli del collegio d'accusa,
Katzmann, Adams, Williams, Kane.
Il giudice e gli avvocati camminavano pettoruti,
facevano più numeri dei pagliacci d'un circo.

Vanzetti arrivò nel 1908;
dormì per la sudicia strada,
diceva ai lavoratori: “Organizzatevi”,
e ora muore sulla sedia elettrica.

Tutti voi, gente, dovreste essere come me
e agire come Sacco e Vanzetti,
trovare ogni giorno un modo per lottare
col sindacato per i diritti dei lavoratori.

Beh, non ho tempo per dirvela tutta,
sbirri e agenti mi stanno alle calcagna.
Ma ricorderò questi due brav'uomini
che sono morti per farmi vedere come si vive.

Tutti voi, gente del vicolo Suasso,
cantate questa canzone e cantatela chiara.
Tutti voi, gente che arriva a frotte,
su, venite qua con me a cantarla.

2014/9/2 - 13:15

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