Three Chords and the Truth (Ry Cooder)

I'm going to tell you a story right here Huh, you may not believe it I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, standin' in the prison yard They were taking poor Joe, chained and bound, to a Utah firing squad Well he turned and looked at me right then, sayin', Don't you be misled They're trying to tear our free speech down, and Buddy, they ain't near quit yet See, they framed me on a killin' charge, you know I wouldn't lie to you But the only crime here that I done was three chords and the truth Three chords and the truth, oh three chords and the truth Well the only crime that Joe Hill done was three chords and the truth Well he sang his good old union songs, he got his message through But they couldn't stand to hear a workingman sing three chords and the truth I see you don't believe you're old friend Buddy here Heh, take a drink, I think you need it Oh J. Edgar Hoover liked to hear the darkies sing, till one man changed that all around Paul Robeson was a man that you couldn't ignore, and that's what drove J. Edgar down (Yah drove him down) He called up his New York Klan boyfriends, sayin', I got something good for you Get right down there to Peekskill, New York town, and kill three chords and the truth Three chords and the truth, oh, three chords and the truth Well the only crime you ever got from Paul was three chords and the truth Now if this is the land of democracy, I got one question for you Why wasn't Paul Roberson set free on three chords and the truth? I see you still don't believe it I'll bother you one more time I'll bother you one more time, right mister Now they took Pete Seeger before the law and put him on the witness stand But he stood right up to tyranny with just a banjo in his hand Such a righteous banjo picker, watchin' out for me and you That was just a man who wouldn't back down on three chords and the truth Three chords and the truth, three chords and the truth Well the only crime Pete Seeger done was three chords and the truth Yah, he sang his freedom songs real good, he's still getting his message through Better check out old Pete Seeger on three chords and the truth Three chords and the truth, well its three chords and the truth Well you better check out your old friend Buddy right now on three chords and the truth Better check out old Harlan Howard, personal friend of mine Check out old Harlan on three chords and the truth