HARD, AIN'T IT HARD (trad./WOODY GUTHRIE) (1941)


THE ALMANAC SINGERS, 1941: WOODY GUTHRIE, LEE HAYS, MILLARD LAMPELL, PETE SEEGER
(left to right)


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NOTE:
While this Almanac Singers track is most commonly referred to as "a new Guthrie tune,", it contains several "commonplace" "floating" elements (first verse, mostly) from traditional folksongs, most notably from the "Railroad Boy"/"Butcher's Boy" song family. The last verse is obviously influenced by the "Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot?" song family. Therefore, I would label this song as "traditional/arranged and adapted by Woody Guthrie."
Manfred Helfert


Lyrics as reprinted (with minor corrections by Manfred Helfert) in Ronald D. Cohen & Dave Samuelson, liner notes for "Songs for Political Action," Bear Family Records BCD 15720 JL, 1996, p. 88.
ORIGINAL ISSUE: "SOD-BUSTER BALLADS," Gen 5019 B (General Album G-21).
[WOODY GUTHRIE, lead vocal]


There is a house in this old town,
And that's where my true love lays around.
And he takes other women right down on his knee
And he tells them a little tale he won't tell me.
It's a-hard and it's hard, ain't it hard
To love one that never did love you?
It's a-hard, and it's hard, ain't it hard, great God,
To love one that never will be true?
First time I seen my true Iove
He was walkin' by my door.
Last time l seen his false hearted smile
He was dead on his coolin' board.

Don't go to drinkin' and gamblin',
Don't go there your sorrows to drown.
That hard-liquor place is a low-down disgrace,
It's the meanest damn place in this town.

Well, who's goin' to kiss your ruby lips,
And who's goin' to hold you to their breast?
And who will talk your future over
While I'm ramblin' in the West?


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