Deportees lyrics

by Paddy Reilly

The crops are all in, the peaches are gathered
Oranges packed in their creosote bins
They're flying them back to the Mexico border
To take all their money to get back again

So farewell to my friends, good-bye Rosalita
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maris
You won't have a name when you fly the big aeroplane
All they will call you will be deportees.

The sky-plane caught fire over Los Gatos canyon
The fireball lit up and it shook the hills round
Oh who were those friends that were scattered like dry leaves?
The radio said they were just deportees.

So farewell to my friends, good-bye Rosalita
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maris
You won't have a name when you fly the big aeroplane
All they will call you will be deportees.

Is this the best way to till our good orchards?
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
To lie on the ground and to rot 'neath the topsoil
And never know no name except deportees?

So farewell to my friends, good-bye Rosalita
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maris
You won't have a name when you fly the big aeroplane
All they will call you will be deportees.

Some of us are illegal, and some were not wanted,
Our work contract's finished and wev'e got to move on
It's six hundred miles to the Mexican border,
They chase us like rustlers, like outlaws, like thieves.

So farewell to my friends, good-bye Rosalita
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maris
You won't have a name when you fly the big aeroplane
All they will call you will be deportees.

Song Details

Lyrics: Woody Guthrie - an American Folk Song writer.

Composer: Martin Hoffman

Brief: A protest song describing the Jan 28th, 1948 plane crash near Los Gatos Canyon 20 miles west of Coalinga in Fresno County, California, USA. Woody Guthrie wrote the lyrics in protest to the racial mistreatment of the passengers before and after the accident where 32 people died... 28 of them were migrant farm workers that were being deported from California back to Mexico.

After the incident, newspaper and radio reports didn't name any of the Mexican victims... they were merely referred to as Deportees. On the other hand, The Fresno Bee, a daily newspaper serving Fresno reported all the names of the deceased that were known to them... more

Although the song is not an Irish Folk song in the true sense, it has been embraced by many Irish performers and as Paddy Reilly says, "There is an exception to every rule".

References:
Deportee a person who is expelled from home or country by authority.
Creosote a strong-smelling, oily liquid obtained by the distillation of coal and wood tar, used as a wood preservative and as an antiseptic.

Category: Folk.

Other Recording Artists: The Highwaymen, The Kingston Trio, Judy Collind, Odetta, The Byrds, Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, David Carradine, Dolly Parton, Christy Moore, Peter Paul and Mary, Concrete Blonde, Bruce Springsteen, The Wolfe Tones, and many more.

Logo Deportees by Paddy Reilly is featured on the album The Balladeer (September 12, 2011).

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