BORN TO WIN

(WOODY GUTHRIE) (1940s)

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The maddest I've been in my whole life was when I rode on a troopship with more than three thousand men headed for France and we got about half way out on the ocean and a big storm come up. The ship rocked and rolled and made a lot of us sick. We hadn't been across before. We turned on our radio and a song blubbered out over the loudspeaker, "Born to Lose!" Ain't that some hell of a damned song for the United States Army to have poked down its throat on its way into a battle?
I couldn't rest easy till I run and grabbed my pencil and wrote this one down. "Born to Win."

Woody Guthrie, as quoted in Robert Shelton (ed.), Woody Guthrie, Born to Win, New York, NY, 1976, p. 91.
1965 The Guthrie Children's Trust Fund

Lyrics as reprinted ibid., pp. 90-91.
1965 The Guthrie Children's Trust Fund

I had my fun and my troubles
I had my hard luck and blues
Been up and been down and been sober and drunk
But I know that I'm not born to lose.

CHORUS:
Born to win. I know I'm born to win.
It's a funny old world that I am in.
I'll fight to change it like it ought to be.
Born to win. I know I'm born to win.

I had women all kinds and all colors
In every land where I have been
I saw all the people in trouble like me
And I know that we're not born to lose.

CHORUS

You robbed us and beat us and bled us.
You worked us and paid us like slaves.
I know we're all born to work and to fight
And to win or go down in our grave.

CHORUS

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