The Many and the Few

Woody Guthrie

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Woody Guthrie

Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie (July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was an American singer-songwriter and folk musician whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children's songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his guitar. His best-known song is "This Land Is Your Land." Many of his recorded songs are archived in the Library of Congress. Such songwriters as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jeff Tweedy and Tom Paxton have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence. more »


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My name is King Cyrus, my order I give,
You Jews can go back to your home
To build your holy temple again
In the land of Palestine.

We've sung and danced o'er the hot rocky roads
Back to Eretz Yisroel's land
We worked with plow and rake and hoe
And we blessed the works of our hands

My name is Ezra the Teacher man
I brought my scroll book along
I brought my flock to Yisroel
From that land called Babylon

I'll read you my Talmud Torah book
And the prophet's dreams to you
And you'll be fertile and multiply
If you keep your Torah true

My name is Alexander the Great
More than half of this wide world is mine
Come stand around, my servants all
I'm wrapped on my bed here to die

As the King of Syria and Palestine
Antiochus the Fourth, you'll stand
To kill the Jews if they refuse
To worship our idols and gods

My name is Hannah, my first born son
Now stands before this king
Guilty of keeping the Sabbath laws
By the soldiers I see him slain

It's one by one my seven sons
In front of my eyes cut down
For keeping to the Torah laws
I pay with my warm blood now

My name is Mattathias, I've got five sons
In Modin City we dwell
They tried to make me bow down to their gods
Two of the King's flunkeys I killed

A hundred or more who'll fight to be Jews
Did come to these hills with me
On my death bed your leader I'll name
'Tis Judah, the Macabee

My name is Judah, the Macabee
By the name of the hammer I'm called
We'll pray to God before every fight
Till all of our enemies fall

Appolonius, the Governor, this day I killed
And his army we did bust
Some few of his soldiers run away in the wind
But most we've dropped dead in the dust

Syron is my name, from Syria came
To destroy that fool Macabee
My army was great, his army was small
But he somehow did win over me

To deliver the many to the hands of his few
For God this is no trick at all
In a few short hours my army did break
And we flooded this valley with blood

My name is Lysias, I dreamed up a plan
To burn the Jews tents as they slept
When I got there, their tents were all bare
And the Macabee's army had left

He stormed my own camp as my soldiers did sleep
And he killed several thousand in fear
My elephants, my horsemen, my footsoldiers, all
Judah hammered them down from the rear

My name is Jerusalem where Judah came back
To build up my Temple once more
To cut down the weeds and thorny brush
That grows 'round my windows and doors

Whole stones, whole stones, we'll build and pray
To God as a wholehearted Jew
God's love the hateful many did place
In the hands of a God loving few

We found in our temple a little oil jug
Just enough for the lamps for one night
That one little jug burned Eight whole days
And it kept our new temple in light

Eight candles we'll burn and a Ninth one too
Every New Year that comes and goes
We'll think of the many in the hands of the few
And thank God we are seeds of the Jews

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