Deportee (Plane Crash at Los Gatos)- Woody Guthrie

At this time of vilification and fear for the dreaded ‘Immigrants’, it is good to remember what Woody Guthrie wrote about the plane crash at Los Gatos. Illegal immigrants were being exploited as cheap labour and then shipped back to Mexico. The plane crashed and they were killed. The reporting was of a bunch of ‘Deportees’ being killed.

Woody wanted to write a song commemorating them as ‘real’ people. He wanted to incorporate all their names.

At this time – a religious festival – a festival of plenty – we would do well to remember the real message. These immigrants are not the evil rapists, drug dealers and murderers we have to build walls against; they are real people. We should care.

One thing I despise is the hypocrisy of many religious people – Jesus wasn’t about building walls and carrying guns was he??

The crops are all in and the peaches are rotting
The oranges are filed in their creosote dumps
They’re flying ’em back to the Mexico border
To take all their money to wade back againGoodbye to my Juan, farewell Roselita
Adios mes amigos, Jesus e Maria
You won’t have a name when you ride the big airplane
All they will call you will be deporteesMy father’s own father, he waded that river
They took all the money he made in his life
It’s six hundred miles to the Mexico border
And they chased them like rustlers, like outlaws, like thievesGoodbye to my Juan, farewell Roselita
Adios mes amigos, Jesus e Maria
You won’t have a name when you ride the big airplane
All they will call you will be deporteesThe skyplane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon
The great ball of fire it shook all our hills
Who are these dear friends who are falling like dry leaves?
Radio said, “They are just deportees”Goodbye to my Juan, farewell Roselita
Adios mes amigos, Jesus e Maria
You won’t have a name when you ride the big airplane
All they will call you will be deportees

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