RECKLESS TALK (WOODY GUTHRIE/tune: "CARELESS LOVE") (1940s)


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WOODY GUTHRIE's rewriting of (if I recall correctly) a Beetle Bailey World War II propaganda cartoon warning servicemembers that their reckless talk might provide valuable information for "the enemy."
-- Manfred Helfert


Lyrics as reprinted in Robert Shelton (ed.), Woody Guthrie, Born to Win, New York, NY, 1976, pp. 89-90
© 1965 The Guthrie Children's Trust Fund


CHORUS:
Oh, you see what your reckless talk can do?
Don't you see what your reckless talk can do?
You can see what your reckless talk can do
I don't want no reckless talk from you!

There is a ship that sails the ocean blue,
There is a ship that sails the ocean blue,
There is a ship that sails the ocean blue,
And her name I cannot tell to you.

CHORUS

When you hear of a ship and a crew done gone,
When you hear of a ship and a crew done gone,
When you hear of a ship and a crew done gone,
See what your rattling tongue has done!

CHORUS

That ocean's dark and the ocean's cold,
That ocean's dark and the ocean's cold,
That ocean's dark and the ocean's cold,
So don't raffle off everything you know.

CHORUS

A clattering tongue is an awful thing,
A clattering tongue is an awful thing,
A clattering tongue is an awful thing,
When you think of the sorrow it might bring.

CHORUS

The least little word that you might say,
The least little word that you might say,
The least little word that you might say,
Might send a ship to a watery grave.

CHORUS

Us boys that ride this ocean blue,
Us boys that ride this ocean blue,
Us boys that ride this ocean blue,
We don't want no reckless talk from you.


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