From the album Its Root, Hoe or Die

This song was inspired by Dorothea Lange's most famous photo "Migrant Mother". The woman in the photo's name was Florence Thompson.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qm6AAYpZDI

Lyrics

Work, want and wandering that’s how we lived
Work, want and wandering 10 hungry kids
We were barely existing, that’s all I can say
Work, want and wandering when it all blows away

I was Cherokee born in 1903
In the home of the brave and the land of the free
When I married Cleo I was just 17
6 children later he died from TB

I picked cotton in Firebaugh paid by the pound
500 a day when the boss was around
Waited tables at night at the diner in town
Swore this would be my burying ground

Work, want and wandering that’s how we lived
Work, want and wandering 10 hungry kids
We were barely existing, that’s all I can say
Work, want and wandering when it all blows away

When the money ran out we had to go
But our covered jalopy couldn’t handle the load
Near a pea-pickers camp it sputtered and slowed
Nipomo Valley was the end of the road

An early frost killed the peas no work for these hands
We went hungry every child every woman and man
And the stories we told they were written in sand
I’d cry if I could but I’m as dry as this land

Work, want and wandering that’s how we lived
Work, want and wandering 10 hungry kids
Barely existing, that’s all I can say
Work, want and wandering when it all blows away