Saturday, April 25, 2020

Folk Songs Evolve


In 1931, the Carter Family recorded "Can't Feel at Home":


Not finding any claim to the contrary on a quick search, I'm going to assume that this is one of A.P Carter's "found songs," a traditional hymn that was made famous by, but not written by, the Carters.

Close to a decade later, Woody Guthrie offered his take on the song, "Ain't Got No Home," on the Dust Bowl Ballads album:


It's been 80 years, so I'd say about time for an update! Same simple chord progression as its two predecessors. I might get around to recording it myself at some point, and if so I know the results will be as lo-fi as the preceding versions.

CAN'T LEAVE MY HOME
by Thomas L. Knapp
CC0 Public Domain Dedication, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be might good friends of ourn, cause we don't give a dern.

We've been ordered to stay in and to stop a-roamin' round
It's not like there's much open if we make it into town
Can't go to see a movie, a barber, or a whore,
No, we can't leave our homes in this world anymore

We've had to give up working except for the essential
Like busting up block parties or play-acting presidential
Turns out that unemployment is really quite a chore
But we can't leave our homes in this world anymore

When my hometown re-opens I'm heading for the bar
To suck down sudsy beverages and hear some folk guitar
The politicians say they saved our lives but I'm not sure
And I will not let them keep me in my home anymore

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