Videos by American Songwriter
2016 isn’t the only year musicians have sung out against “Old Man Trump.” A somewhat-buried Woody Guthrie track by the same name, written in outrage more than 60 years ago against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s father, Fred Trump, laments the bigotry and injustice of Trump’s housing projects, Beach Haven, in which Guthrie leased an apartment. Now, riot folk singer Ryan Harvey has teamed up with Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello and Ani DiFranco to cover Guthrie’s “Old Man Trump.”
Guthrie’s lyrics make his position on “Old Man Trump” clear:
Old Man Trump knows
Just how much
he stirred up
In the bloodpot of human hearts
When he drawed
That color line
Here at his
Eighteen hundred family project”
The folk legend even invokes the apartment by name, singing:
“Beach Haven ain’t my home!
I just can’t pay this rent!
My money’s down the drain!
And my soul is badly bent!
Beach Haven looks like heaven
Where no black ones come to roam!
No, no, no! Old Man Trump!
Old Beach Haven ain’t my home!”
Listen to the resurrected “Old Man Trump” below.