The Songs He Sang
Pretty Boy Floyd: Lyrics
As performed by Cisco Houston
Woody GuthrieAppears on:
If you'll gather 'round me children A story I will tell About Pretty Boy Floyd an outlaw Oklahoma knew him well. It was in the town of Shawnee On a Saturday afternoon His wife beside him in his wagon As into town they rode. Then a deputy sheriff approached him In a manner rather rude Using vulgar words of language And his wife she overheard. Then Pretty Boy grabbed a log chain And the deputy grabbed his gun And in the fight that followed He laid that deputy down. Then he took to the trees and timbers To live a life of shame Every crime in Oklahoma Was added to his name Yes, he took to the trees and timbers On that Canadian River's shore And the outlaw found a welcome At many a farmer's door. There's a many a starving farmer This same old story told How the outlaw paid their mortgage And saved their little home. Others tell you 'bout a stranger That come to beg a meal And underneath his napkin Left a thousand dollar bill. It was in Oklahoma City It was on a Christmas Day There came a whole car load of groceries With a letter that did say: Well, you say that I'm an outlaw Well you say that I'm a thief Here's a Christmas dinner For the families on relief. As through this world I ramble I see lots of funny men Some rob you with a six gun And some with a fountain pen. But as through this life you travel As through your life you roam You will never see an outlaw Drive a family from their home.
An utter tale of malarkey and blather, set to a great tune and performed brilliantly by Cisco and guitar. Compare his performance with that of Joan Baez on The Greatest Songs Of Woody Guthrie, as she shrieks and whines. A shame Woody chose to glamorize such thugs, and then his final lines, about never seeing an outlaw drive a family from their home, are refuted every day in block after block of urban landscape scarred by crime and emptied by fear. No Woody, (and all the left that still worships outlaws and murderers as rebels against some grotesque authority) outlaws drive not just families, but entire communities, from their homes.