Today, Woody Gurthrie (July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) would have celebrated his 100th birthday. Here, is a brief shrine to America’s socialist folk legend.

Jolly Banker
by Woody Guthrie

My name is Tom Cranker and I’m a jolly banker,
I’m a jolly banker, jolly banker am I.
I safeguard the farmers and widows and orphans,
Singin’ I’m a jolly banker, jolly banker am I.

When dust storms are sailing, and crops they are failing,
I’m a jolly banker, jolly banker am I.
I check up your shortage and bring down your mortgage,
Singin’ I’m a jolly banker, jolly banker am I.

When money you’re needing, and mouths you are feeding,
I’m a jolly banker, jolly banker am I.
I’ll plaster your home with a furniture loan,
Singin’ I’m a jolly banker, jolly banker am I.

If you show me you need it, I’ll let you have credit,
I’m a jolly banker, jolly banker am I.
Just bring me back two for the one I lend you,
Singin’ I’m a jolly banker, jolly banker am I.

When your car you’re losin’, and sadly your cruisin’,
I’m a jolly banker, jolly banker am I.
I’ll come and forclose, get your car and your clothes,
Singin’ I’m a jolly banker, jolly banker am I.

When the bugs get your cotton, the times they are rotten,
I’m a jolly banker, jolly banker am I.
I’ll come down and help you, I’ll rake you and scalp you,
Singin’ I’m a jolly banker, jolly banker am I.

When the landlords abuse you, or sadly misuse you,
I’m a jolly banker, jolly banker am I.
I’ll send down the police chief to keep you from mischief,
Singin’ I’m a jolly banker, jolly banker am I.

Adam Ramsay

About Adam Ramsay

Adam is Co-Editor of Open Democracy UK and a green activist based in Edinburgh. He co-founded Bright Green in 2010.