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The Planter and the Sharecropper

John Handcox
Language: English


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[1936]
Parole e musica di John Handcox (1904-1992), cantautore e bracciante afroamericano dell’Arkansas, che negli anni della Grande Depressione fu militante del combattivo sindacato Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union.

John Handcox

Nella raccolta intitolata “John L. Handcox: Songs, Poems, And Stories of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union”, WVU Press, 2005.

Bracciante nero e famiglia, Alabama 1937, foto di Arthur Rothstein.
Bracciante nero e famiglia, Alabama 1937, foto di Arthur Rothstein.

Bracciante bianco e famiglia, Oklahoma 1936 (nel cuore del Dust Bowl), foto di Arthur Rothstein.
Bracciante bianco e famiglia, Oklahoma 1936 (nel cuore del Dust Bowl), foto di Arthur Rothstein.
The planter lives off the sweat of the sharecropper brow
Just how the sharecropper lives, the planter care not how.
The sharecropper raises all the planter can eat,
And then gets tramped down under his feet.

The sharecropper raises all the planter can wear
While he and his family have to go bare.
The sharecropper works, toils and sweats
The planter brings him out in debt.

The planter has good and wholesome food to eat
The sharecropper has cornbread, molasses, and fatback meat.
A lots of good things the planter have to waste,
But the sharecropper knows not how it taste.

The sharecropper wife goes to the washtub, kitchen and field
While the planter’s wife enjoys herself in an automobile.
The planter’s children dresses up and goes to school
While the sharecropper’s puts on rags and follow a mule.

If you ask the planter for your right
You might as well just spit in his face and ask for a fight.
The planter says he inherited his wealth from birth,
But it all comes from the poor man who tills the earth.

The planters get together and they plots and plans
You can bet your life it’s all against the poor man.
The planters take the sharecropper’s mule, wagon, or plow.
He don’t allow them to have a hog or cow.

The planter lives in a house as fine as the best
And wears good clothes and all the rest
Makes no difference how much the sharecropper raise
The planter gets all the praise.

When the sharecropper dies he is buried in a box
Without a necktie or without any socks.
The sharecropper works hard and wears cotton sacks
And live in raggedy, filthy broken down shacks.

The poor man has fought all the rich man wars
And now we are being punished without any cause
The sharecroppers labor the planters pockets to swell,
But the planter’s unjust deed are seeing him straight to Hell.

Now no rich planter to be ever do I crave
But I do want to be something more than a planter’s slave
If anyone thinks that this ain’t the truth,
He can go through Arkansas and get the proof.

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2015/4/16 - 10:41



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