Lyr Add: Hood River Roll On (Utah Phillips) To Thread - Forum Home

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Lyr Add: Hood River Roll On (Utah Phillips)

08 Mar 00 - 08:34 PM (#192185)
Subject: Lyr Add: HOOD RIVER ROLL ON (Utah Phillips)^^
From: Stewie

(U. Utah Phillips)

The rusty pot bubbles, the bottle goes 'round
Did you hear about Blackie? He flagged the westbound
The young ones drift off to get drunk in their dreams
The old men sip coffee and stare through the steam

Hood River, roll on
There's so much to remember
The old times are gone
Hood River, roll on

The fire's knocked down, the balloons are all packed
They're coughin' and flappin' along the steel track
The green kid remembers the old man's advice
He unrolls his bedroll and rolls it up nice


The box rumbles up on a black cinder grade
Some tumble inside, the others just wave
'Til scattered by smoke or the crunch of the shack
But no one looks up and no one looks back


May your long apple valleys stay green through the fall
And your magic white mountain watch over us all
Lead your old appleknockers in out of the snow
Let your rubber tramps ride where the trains never go


Words and music U. Utah Phillips. Copyright 1997 On Strike Music BMI.
Source: U. Utah Phillips and Mark Ross 'Loafers Glory' Red House RHR CD 103.


08 Mar 00 - 09:42 PM (#192251)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hood River roll on
From: kendall

shouldn'that read..he rolls out his BINDLE? and is it really rubber tramps? sounded like trams to me??

09 Mar 00 - 01:15 AM (#192331)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hood River roll on
From: Stewie


Not in this case. In his 5-minute intro to the song Utah mentions that Hood River Blackie referred to a 'bindle' as a 'balloon', and his preferred term is used in the song. I used the lyrics printed in the booklet - the term used in respect of the 'kid' is 'bedroll'. Actually, Utah sings 'shakes out his bedroll' rather than the printed 'unrolls his bedroll'. Stecher and Brislin also sing 'bedroll' in their recording on their album of Phillips' songs.

In the last line of the song, Utah is, without question, singing 'rubber tramps'. That is also what is in the printed booklet and what Stecher and Brislin sing. Utah explains about the 'old truck or car' that Blackie took up into the apple valleys where the trains wouldn't go - called 'rubber trams'. The reference in the last line is no doubt symbolic and not without its relevance to the 'ersatz hobo jungle' that Blackie created for the Sacramento railroad museum. Get hold of the CD and listen for yourself - like all of Utah's stuff, it's well worth having.


09 Mar 00 - 01:20 AM (#192333)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hood River roll on
From: Stewie

And, all that aside, how can 'trams' ride?

09 Mar 00 - 08:34 AM (#192409)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hood River roll on
From: kendall

Its the English in me. I have Stecher and Brislins recording, but, guess I'd better get the masters CD. I used to have a boss who "rode the rods" for a while, and he told me that the pack the tramps carried were called bindles. He also explained that a tramp is also called a "bindle stiff" Also, a "wangdoodle" is a female salvation army worker. What would language be without color?