Dying Doctor (never recorded)

She saw the children drink the cankered water
She saw the chickens fly up on the roof
She saw the waters overflow the sewers
And flood their gardens of victory.
She went to the big shots of the Shawmut Company
She did not beg and she did not plead
She stood flatfooted and pounded the table
Sewer pipes and bathrooms are what we need.

My dady told me to fight to cure sickness
But I can't cure sickness with sewage all around
These germs kill people quicker than I can cure them
We need a foundation under every house.
We need a bathroom for every family
Yes, you can set there and blink your eyes
Three hundred miners are out behind me
We will clean this town or know the reason why.

I think of my daddy and brothers and sisters
When we stood around his dying bed
When I walk the streets of the company towns
I can hear every word my daddy said.
The Shawmut Company is caught in its own paws
The people not worth the money they cost
A hundred have died, three hundred not working
Thirty thousand tons of coal is lost.

THE DYING DOCTOR by Woody Guthrie
” Copyright 1965 (renewed) by WOODY GUTHRIE PUBLICATIONS, INC.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.