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Woody Guthrie: Chain Gang Special Meaning

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  1. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 9th 2012 report

    She Came Along To Me - Woody Guthrie - Sung by Billy Bragg & Wilco

    Ten hundred books could I write you about her
    Because I felt if I could know her
    I would know all women
    And they've not been any too well known
    For brains and planning and organized thinking
    But I'm sure the women are equal
    And they may be ahead of the men

    Ten hundred is a number he borrowed from "her"/his girlfriend who is a supreme mathematician. She knows damn well that ten hundred is actually one hundred thousand and that number is precisely how many books Woody could write about her now that he knows so much about her. He thought that if he knew her well in every aspect of her life then he would have the entire female species figured out because they are all almost exactly the same. Woody thinks that women are not famous for their smarts and plots and their abilities to organize massive groups into cults or mafia types of establishment like chain gangs. Women do not normally think like that. Well, some do but not the one he is gathering the information about & regarding. He knows that each person is wise & talented in their own unique way and that no single person's brain is any better than anyone else's. Just because you know your periodic table of chemical elements or you speak fluent Lebanese or you can paint a ceiling or you can drive an eighteen wheeler well that is great because you have something which you love and you are very good at and your excelling in that particular area is wonderful but it might be the very thing your best friend can't do at all and that certainly doesn't make one person better than another. So, Woody has realized that women deserve equal rights and that they might even surpass the men in certain departments such as science these days and that means medicines & business and veterinarians are so often female too. Does this mean animals love women better than men or that women love animals better than men... Think hard about that because it is confusing. Which brings me to the reason I am writing today and that is to wish my horse a Happy Birthday. I love him like an animal. Wine & Dine & Kisses To You, Trigger!

    Yet I wouldn't spread such a rumor around
    Because one organizes the other
    And some times the most lost and wasted
    Attract the most balanced and sane
    And the wild and the reckless take up
    With the clocked and the timed
    And the mixture is all of us
    And we're still mixing

    Woody hates gossip and rumours. He knows that most of the time women organize men as they inspire them & sometimes women are the impetus of some sort of action in the men AND that men organize women in that they control them in countless devious ways or formulate, regulate and marshal them into an order of general submission if their goals are achieved. Sometimes the woman who is lost and blind and an addict is attracted to thee most militaristic man in the bunch. This seems odd, for sure, but Woody has seen this happen and vise versa as well. Sooo often we see wispy smutty patchouli hippie men glued to very large, combative & bellicose WestPoint females. This is evidence that some of the most grounded, lucid, rigid & barbaric people are drawn to the most incredibly far-out, helter-skeltery freaks. We all Scratch Our Heads, but the beauty is in the mixture and still we all are trying to figure it out and blend in with each other be it male, female, animal... belligerent, hawkish, peaceloving, feckless, hostile and/or amicably gregarious. Woody is saying, "It's All Good"... Be who you are.

    But never, never, never
    Never could have it been done
    If the women hadn't entered into the deal
    Like she came along to me

    "She" is someone who was sold to him by a group of industrial warriors. Never, never, never could Woody have accomplished all that he has if her friends would not have allowed her to be traded like a corn kernel. Clearly, they all had a "deal" and he feels guilty about this actual scenario. I must admit it seems a little bit weird to be throwing this detail at us mid-song.. A moment ago he was singing about everyone's "equality" and how no sex or species is above another and then wham.. We get hit with this junk. Not sure what to think now.

    And all creeds and kinds and colors
    Of us are blending
    Till I suppose ten million years from now
    We'll all be just alike
    Same color, same size, working together
    And maybe we'll have all the fascists
    Out of the way by then
    Maybe so.

    Woody is saying, "Let's all get along with each other and put our differences aside. We are all much more alike than we are different. Let's try to believe that, anyway." Woody adores organic corn grown by small farmers but he hates fascist pigs. Throughout history the swine have used propaganda, militarism & religion to control the masses. He is saying that if we continue to work hard at mixing then perhaps we will eradicate the "people" who are difficult to mix with who also happen to be the leaders trafficking their babies or wives or Loved ones. Woody's message to us, even though it seems a bit hypocritical is that Horses Don't Sell Humans. We need to work together to love one another.

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