Capo 3rd fret Am C G/B Am I can hear the rumblin' river as it rushes underground. C G/B Am I can hear the breakers crashin', I can hear the breakers pound. C G/B Am I can stand beneath the waterfall and shout with all my might. C G/B Am I can hear a thousand voices makin' ready for a fight.
I can ride through Colorado in a semi-trailer cab.
I can hang around the truck stops and hear them joke and gab.
I can hear them tellin' stories of the lives that they must lead,
As they wonder how they'll make it with so many mouths to feed.
I can see the little hobo as he shuffles down the street.
I can hear him in the diner as he bums a bite to eat.
For ten years he stoked the furnace till the factory whistle blowed,
Got laid off by automation, boys, and it put him on the road.
And I met another fellow as I wandered all about.
He was minin' down at Hazard till his union sold him out.
Yes, they worked him in the coal mines till his back and arms were sore.
Then they put him on the blacklist, boys, and he can't go back no more.
I can see the sharecrop farmer as he wipes his sweaty brow.
He can see the crop is failin', but it ain't his, anyhow.
I can see the dust cloud swirlin' on his played-out farmin' land,
See him hunker down and let it trickle through his hand.
I met a fine young Negro lad about seventeen or so.
He did not like those southern jails, but he felt that he had to go.
Sayin', "Mom and Dad were Negroes, and my son will be one, too,
So I guess it's up to me because we've given up on you."
And as I passed an air force base, a young man I did meet,
With his shiny wings of silver and his uniform so neat.
Sayin', "I don't wanna bomb them, sir, it fills me with dismay,
But orders they are orders, and you know I must obey."
Well, I've been walkin' through this country and my eyes are open wide,
And the things I've seen and heard you couldn't imagine if you tried.
I've been listenin' to some people and one thing I understand.
A great flood is a-risin' fast, and there's a rumblin' in the land.
(Words and music by Tom Paxton, 1963)
Notes: These chords above are based on the recording from Ramblin' Boy album. However, according to the chords written on the 1964 songbook Ramblin' Boy and Other Songs by Tom Paxton, the chords in the second line should be:
Am G G/F# E I can hear the breakers crashin', I can hear the breakers pound.
Both the "C - G/B - Am" progression and the "G - G/F# - E" progression would work very well on this line.
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