1933 (Great Depression)

oh it’s 1933 the debt collectors follow me
oh oh oh oh and winter’s here
all the ghosts of folklore arrive sowing seeds under freezing gray skies
oh oh oh oh singing do not fear
their souls levitate much higher than we may ever aspire
born to be forgotten and forlorn
oh but let’s not lose sight or direction
Roosevelt won the election
we’re gonna make it through the Great Depression

oh and tomorrow I’m seventeen but outside the lines of the county
oh oh oh oh I might as well not be alive
yeah my boxcar eyes and your railroad face won’t see us out of this place
oh oh oh oh I am resigned
to a life full of labor channeling some distant savior
never knowing why I even try
but a young man keeps on pressing
at least that was my impression
through these times called the Great Depression

oh now Ruthie she’s my sister’s friend, she lives up around the bend
oh oh oh oh and when church let’s out
her face is the one I see, her dark blue eyes of mystery
oh oh oh oh are making me devout
but as the congregation thins all my worrying begins
I can see her walking away
and so Ruthie girl I’m not messin’
I got love I got affection
in these times call the Great Depression

oh now I can see the mill in spin coming to its sorry end
oh oh oh oh it’s gonna stop
stuttering like fortune’s wheel until its fate is revealed
oh oh oh oh I can barely watch
but even though the mill is gone the river keeps rolling on
hanging its heavy rhythm in the air
yeah with all its weight and indiscretion
it flows in one single direction
and that’s how we must go through the Great Depression

oh and now my family is haunting me
they’re weaving in and out of my dreams
oh oh oh oh don’t you make me cry
brother, sister, father, mother transform into one another
oh oh oh oh don’t you make me cry
cause father he just aint the same look even his face has changed
ever since momma died last year
and so all our loss and our dispossession
leaves us here begging the question:
what’s so goddamn great about the Great Depression?