When First Unto This Country

Phil Ochs
Lingua: Inglese

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Lyrics by Philip D. Ochs
Music: sung to the tune of "When First Unto This Country A Stranger I Came" (see below)


When First Unto This Country
When first unto this country a stranger I came,
I fought the Revolution, peace and quiet was my aim.
When the Indians attacked us, at least that's what I'm told,
So we threw them off their land with no thought of greed or gold.

Then our ships were being boarded, other countries took our men,
Napoleon was too powerful, the British lost again.
And then hopelessly outnumbered, we fought our level best,
and we borrowed from Old Mexico the American South West.

And when that war was over there was no one left to fight
So we turned and fought each other – to the historians' delight
Then for thirty years we rested, and tried to ease the pain,
until the Cuban sugar crop we gladly freed from Spain.

Then Europe started feudin', there were profits by the score,
So the ammunition makers fought the war to end all war,
but old Hitler started marchin', he practiced over in Spain,
the Depression was defeated, the world was safe again.

So we joined the United Nations in hopes that war would cease
And except for Korea, we almost kept the peace.
Yes, it's time to really end all wars, the H-Bomb makes it worse
Besides this song is much too long to add another verse.

inviata da giorgio - 14/10/2012 - 09:25

Lingua: Italiano

Original lyrics

[ It was 1934, during the depths of the Depression, but the Gant family of dispossessed sharecroppers was rich in music. John A. Lomax and his son Alan made more than 40 primitive recordings of the Gant family, whose vast repertoire ranged from jailhouse ballads and play ditties to cowboy songs and minstrel tunes. In retrospect, the most prominent of those was "When First Unto This Country a Stranger I Came", which Joan Baez sang live

and Jerry Garcia and David Grisman recorded in 1993.
They all learned it from the 1960s group, the New Lost City Ramblers, who heard it from the Gants..

When first unto this country a stranger I came
I courted a fair maid and Nancy was her name
I courted her for love her love I didn't obtain
Do you think I've any reason or right to complain

I rode to see my Nancy I rode both night and day
I stoled a fine stallion from Colonel Charles Grey
I rode to see my Nancy I rode both day and night
I courted fairest Nancy my own heart's true delight

The sheriff's men they followed and overtaken me
They carted me away to the penitentiary
They opened up the door and then they threw me in
They shaved off my hair and they cleared off my chin

They beat me and they banged me and they fed me on dry beans
'Til I wished to my own soul I'd never been a thief
With my hands stuck in my pockets and my cap set on so bold
My coat of many colors like Joseph's of old

When first unto this country a stranger I came
I courted a fair maid and Nancy was her name

inviata da giorgio - 14/10/2012 - 09:37

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