Almanac Singers "Boomtown Bill"
Written by Woody Guthrie

Come all you oil field workers and listen to my tale.
I worked for Drake in '59, way back in Titusville.
The state called Pennsylvania in the Allegheny field.
I've chased the oilfields ever since. My name is Boomtown Bill.

I've worked in wind and weather of rain and sleet and snow.
Yes, I done all the work, folks, but John D. got the dough.
I don't like them company unions and I know I never will.
I'm C.I.O. from head to toe. My name is Boomtown Bill.


I got my C.I.O. card of which I'm mighty proud.
Whatever I believe in, I like to holler loud.
I don't like your company union 'cause it just don't fill the bill.
I'm U.S.A. and C.I.O. and my name is Boomtown Bill.

I've polished bits in Texas from the ocean to the plain.
Worked every field in the 48 states, and half way back again.
And now we're fightin in a war, the oil has got to flow,
And the best way to beat Hitler is to join the CIO.

(Repeat after each verse)

Across the rolling ocean, the whole wide world around,
There's union workers fighting to tear old Hitler down.
Yes, I'm an oil field worker and a soldier in my field.
I'll fight to save our oilfields. My name is Boomtown Bill.

I've got a lot of work to do and a great big war to win.
I'll take my pipewrench back to work and see you all again.
The C.I.O.'s the best I know from the wildcat to the still.
So work and fight for what is right, and remember Boomtown Bill.

The Oil Workers International Union (O.W.I.U.-C.I.O.) commissioned the Almanacs (Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Butch Hawes, and Arthur Stern) in June 1942 to write and record two songs for the union. "Boomtown Bill'/"Keep That Oil A-Rollin'" appeared on a single Keynote record which was only distributed by the union, and today it is extremely rare. The lyrics combine Woody's patriotism and his strong support for labor unions in the war effort.

Illustration: Almanac Singers, "Mister Hutcheson, Dubinsky and Woll" (1942)

© Copyright Labor Arts Inc.