DUSTY OLD DUST
(SO LONG, IT'S BEEN GOOD TO KNOW YUH)

(Woody Guthrie/tune: "Ballad of Billy the Kid" & "Goodnight, Irene")
("Back Where I Come From," Aug 19, 1940 CBS Broadcast)


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Lyrics as recorded by Woody Guthrie, CBS Studios, New York, NY, 1940; Program #10, "Back Where I Come From," in CBS Radio's "Forecast" series, air date: Aug 19, 1940, written by Alan Lomax and Nicholas Ray.
Transcribed by Manfred Helfert.


WOODY GUTHRIE:
Out here you fellas talk... you'd think that all the great storms of American history, by George, happened way back yonder...
That ain't true. You know, storms've hurt people, they drive people out of their homes and they take their livin' away from 'em -- and that very thing's a-happenin' right today, back in the dust bowl where I come from...

CLIFTON FADIMAN:
What about this dust bowl, Woody Guthrie?

WOODY GUTHRIE:
Well, I come from Okemah, Oklahoma... now, out in that country ain't nothin' in the world to stop that North wind but a barbed-wire fence...
(REST OF SENTENCE INAUDIBLE BECAUSE OF "WIND" SOUND EFFECTS)

That dust storm hit, an' it hit like thunder;
An' it dusted us over, an' it dusted us under;
Blocked out the traffic, covered the sun,
An' straight for home all the people did run,
Singin':

CHORUS (ENTIRE CAST):
So long, it's been good to know yuh,
So long, it's been good to know yuh,
So long, it's been good to know yuh,
This dusty ol' dust is a-gettin' my home,
An' I've got to be driftin' along. ("WIND" SOUND EFFECTS)
WOODY GUTHRIE:
Boy, 'twas black as night in that little ol' Oklahoma shack...
it was so dark the electric light looked like a cigarette butt...
an' the wind a-shakin' the house until we thought she's a-comin' down any minute...
We sat there in the front room together with the kids on the bed...
we didn't say a word for a long time... then Pa said...

BURL IVES (?):
Well, it's lookin' pretty bad... I wonder if it's ever gonna let up...

WOODY GUTHRIE:
We all had to agree that it DID look pretty bad, an' we just sat there thinkin' that this might be the end of the world... like the preacher's a-been talkin' about...
(SOUND EFFECT "TELEPHONE RINGING")

FEMALE VOICE:
Hey, Pa, wouldcha... wouldcha answer the phone?

WOODY GUTHRIE:
You could tell 'em all was really scared...

MALE VOICE OVER TELEPHONE:
Hello, Bill... this is Brother Gray.
We're havin' a special meetin' down at the church house an' we'd like to have you folks come...

WOODY GUTHRIE:
Well, we all went on down to the church t' see each other for the last time, we thought... lemme tell you what happened...
I'll just tell it my own way here...

The church was jammed, and the church was packed,
An' the dusty old dust storm blowed so black
Preacher could not read a word of his text,
An' he folded his specs, an' he took up collection,
Said:

CHORUS (ENTIRE CAST):
So long, it's been good to know yuh,
So long, it's been good to know yuh,
So long, it's been good to know yuh,
This dusty ol' dust is a-gettin' my home,
An' I've got to be driftin' along.
("WIND" SOUND EFFECTS)
WOODY GUTHRIE:
Well, I'm glad that's over... I noticed that preacher made a pretty good collection out of that "end of the world"...
What's that about your gold not supposed to do you no good up in Heaven?
Guess that old preacher must had some inside information...
Well, if he can take advantage, I can, too...
Guess I oughta go over an' see Cora...
She mighta been a little... nicer an' sweeter to me, this time...
(SOUND EFFECT "DOOR CLOSING")
I says, uh... Cora, you're gonna... kiss me goodbye?

FEMALE VOICE:
Sure...

WOODY GUTHRIE:
Gonna kiss me again?

FEMALE VOICE:
Sure, Woody.

WOODY GUTHRIE:
Cause I knowed then that the WHOLE world wasn't comin' to an end... (CHUCKLES)
All we could think of... a-standin' there in the dark... was just:

CHORUS:
So long, it's been good to know yuh,
So long, it's been good to know yuh,
So long, it's been good to know yuh,
This dusty ol' dust is a-gettin' my home,
An' I got to be driftin' along.
("WIND" SOUND EFFECTS)
WOODY GUTHRIE:
I knowed then that the WHOLE world wasn't gone...
but I knowed that OUR world had done run out...
I's ready to go... an' I's sayin' goodbye to Pa...

BURL IVES (?):
Well, are you leavin', son?

WOODY GUTHRIE:
Hell... I guess so...

BURL IVES (?):
Which way do you think you be goin'? West?

WOODY GUTHRIE:
S'pose so...

BURL IVES (?):
Well, I think you better stay...

WOODY GUTHRIE:
This whole country is blowin' away...
the lands an' the houses an'... people...
I'm a-goin', too...
Well, why don't you come...?

BURL IVES (?):
NO... I guess I'll stay.
This is my place, here...
I don't know, but... I think I'll stay...

WOODY GUTHRIE:
Well... I have to go...
The whole country is movin' out...
(SOUND EFFECT "CAR ENGINE STARTING")
...in ol' rattle-flap (?) cars... an' trucks...
whole counties a people's packin' up an' leavin'...
an' a whole big, long caravan of 'em on the road...
They's all goin' West an' singin':

CHORUS:
So long, it's been good to know yuh,
So long, it's been good to know yuh,
So long, it's been good to know yuh,
This dusty ol' dust is a-gettin' my home,
An' I got to be driftin' along,
I got to be driftin' along...


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