Jungle Sermon & Dump the Bosses Off Your Back

Utah Phillips
Language: English

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Parole di Utah Phillips.
Sulla melodia di inni religiosi come “Take It to the Lord in Prayer” o "What a Friend We Have in Jesus”.
Nel songbook “Starlight On The Rails and Others Songs – The Golden Voice of the Great Southwest”, raccolta di canzoni scritte da Bruce ‘Utah’ Phillips tra anni 60 e primi 70.
Poi anche in dischi successivi come “All Used Up: A Scrapbook” (1979) e “We Have Fed You All for a Thousand Years” (1983)

Starlight On The Rails
All Used Up: A Scrapbook
Starlight On The Rails

Una “tirata” sulla necessità dell’organizzazione fatta da uno di quegli organizzatori/agitatori alla Joe Hill che anche il nostro Utah Phillips conobbe bene e che sono stati ormai, purtroppo, consegnati alla Storia. Gente che conosceva bene il lavoro, i lavoratori, i loro problemi e che naturalmente, non per investitura dall’alto, diveniva leader. Non come i sindacalisti di oggi, giacca e cravatta, indaffarati in continue riunioni nei palazzi del potere, con sulla porta dell’ufficio scritto “dirigente sindacale”… Erano leader naturali, sempre presenti sul campo, non sindacalisti “hit-and- run”, organizzatori, non dirigenti, che non si può essere l’una e l’altra cosa… Persone che non facevano carriera in politica e che spesso finivano in una tomba anonima lungo la strada, oppure gettati in una discarica o da un ponte della ferrovia… Questi sono stati i veri eroi del movimento operaio, negli USA come altrove.
Nella seconda parte della canzone la “tirata” si conclude con la soluzione, il suggerimento, l’esortazione: “Dump the goddamn bosses off our back!”, “Scaricatevi di dosso i vostri maledetti padroni!”

Jim Casy

Una canzone che mi ha fatto tornare in mente non solo Joe Hill, ma anche il nostro Giuseppe Di Vittorio, o ancora Arturo Giovannitti e Carlo Tresca, e pure il personaggio di Jim Casy in “The Grapes of Wrath” di Steinbeck/Ford, il prete spretato che ha perso la fede e che, divenuto organizer, viene ucciso durante uno sciopero da un gruppo di strikebreakers…
I guess you think I'm gonna preach a sermon,
Like that fancy revival dude last night;
But this ain't no Sunday school,
And you ain't nobody's fool,
So I'll tell it plain and I'll try to tell it right.

Now, we all look like a bunch of dirty tramps,
Scattered out through all these jungle camps;
Well, I know our shoes ain't shined,
And we can't dress so fine,
But at doin' work, why we're the world's champs!

Now, Charlie here, he can build a train,
Knows how to use his muscle and his brain,
But ever since St. Paul
He can't find a job at all,
Since they hit him with that goddamn broken crane.

And Lefty there, he knows a thing or two,
But there's not much work a one-arm man can do;
He was working on a freight
When he dropped a pin too late,
Now I suppose his railroad days are through.

There's young Tom just up from Tennessee;
His folks were farmers, at least they used to be;
Bad weather took the best,
The banker took the rest,
Now he's up here boomin', just like you and me.

I wish old Sam here could testify,
But he can't, you all know the reason why;
He had some kind of stroke
When the rotten timbers broke,
And they hauled him out just as empty as the sky.

Well, everybody here has got a tale
Of how we put our bodies up for sale;
But when the work gets slow
We got nothin' left to show,
'Cept this stew we built around a rusty nail.

Now boys, this here's the sermon part:
The boss has got a cinder for a heart;
You know that he won't rest
And he's gonna do his best
To bust us up before we even 'start.

But if we can build a dam and dig a mine,
Cut the wheat and run a railroad line;
If we can do all that,
Then boys, I'll eat my hat,
If we can't build a union just as fine.

Oh sure, they'll call it Roosian anarchy,
Or some bad "ism", just you wait and see;
We'll have to make it plain
There's nothing in a name,
So why don't we just call it "you and me".

Well, boys, it's gettin' late and that's a fact,
And I guess it's time that we all hit the sack;
You think about it now,
Maybe get a notion how
We can dump the goddamn bosses off our back.

Are you cold, forlorn and hungry?
Are there lots of things you lack?
Is your life made up of mis’ry?
Then dump the bosses off your back!
Are your clothes all torn and tattered?
Are gou living in a shack?
Would you have your troubles scattered?
Then dump the bosses off your back!

Are you almost split asunder?
Loaded like a long-eared jack?
Boob, why don't you buck like thunder?
And dump the bosses off your back!
All the agonies you suffer,
You can end with one good whack;
Stiffen up, you orn'ry duffer,
And dump the bosses off your back!

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2014/5/28 - 17:49

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