The crops are all in and the peaches are rottening,
The oranges are piled in their creosote dumps;
They’re flying them back to the Mexican border
They’ll pay all their money to wade back again.
Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;
You won’t have a name when you ride the big airplane,
All they will call you will be “deportees.”
My father’s own father, he waded that river,
They took all the money he made in his life;
My brothers and sisters came working the fruit fields,
They rode on that truck ’til they took down and died.
Some of us are illegal, and others not wanted,
Our work contract’s out and we have to move on;
Six hundred miles to the Mexican border,
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.
We died in your hills and we died in your deserts,
We died in your valleys and died on your plains.
We died ‘neath your trees and we died in your bushes,
Both sides of the river, we died just the same.
The skyplane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
A fireball of lightning that shook all our hills,
Who are all these dear friends, all scattered like dry leaves?
The radio says they are just deportees.
Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
To fall and be scattered, to rot on the topsoil
To be known by no name except “deportees”?
–Woody Guthrie, 1948