Man, I have been digging this song like crazy recently. It’s always been somewhere buried deep in my brain, but the other day it surfaced at a mix when I started singing “Ain’t nobody who can read like me” in response to someone who could not replicate the speed and clarity of my scratch VO read. Then it got me thinking that I hadn’t heard it in ages so I checked it out on Spotify and now I can’t stop singing it.
The song’s lyrics were originally penned by folk music legend Woody Guthrie, but he never got around to writing music for it. So, Guthrie’s daughter got Billy Bragg and Wilco (and a bunch of other folks) to write music to a bunch of lyrics that Woody left laying around after his death in 1967. And the song is damned good. My only disappointment is that we’ll never hear Guthrie’s specific voice belting these words against his acoustic guitar. That would be really wonderful.