Thursday, August 23, 2007

Who's Gonna Build Your Wall?

"Tom Russell is Johnny Cash, Jim Harrison, and Charles Bukowski all rolled into one. I feel a great affinity with Tom Russell's songs, for he is writing from the wounded heart of America."
--Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Tom Russell, one of America's great songwriters, has a new CD out, and he appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman Tuesday night to sing a blistering (and funny) song about immigration.

Russell isn't a household name, probably because he writes the kind of music that he likes, not what he think the masses will like.

He sang on Letterman "Who's Gonna Build Your Wall," a song that appears on his new CD, "Wounded Heart of America." I imagine this was written from his home in El Paso, and it's an absolutely genius take on the state of the immigration debate in America. Here are the opening lyrics.
I've got 800 miles of open border right outside my door.
There's minute men in little pick up trucks who've declared their own damn war.
Now the government wants to build a barrier like old Berlin 8 feet tall
But if uncle Sam sends the illegals home who's gonna build the wall?

WHO'S GONNA BUILD YOUR WALL BOYS? WHO'S GONNA MOW YOUR LAWN?
WHO'S GONNA COOK YOUR MEXICAN FOOD WHEN YOUR MEXICAN MAID IS GONE?
WHO'S GONNA WAX THE FLOORS TONIGHT DOWN AT THE LOCAL MALL?
WHO'S GONNA WASH YOUR BABY'S FACE? WHO'S GONNA BUILD YOUR WALL?
You can watch the Letterman appearance here:

You also can listen to the song on Russell's My Space website.

And here's Russell's homepage.

Go buy his album, OK? Cuz you probably won't be reading a review in the New York Times.

1 comment:

Bobby M. said...

Hear - Hear!

A good friend of mine gave me one of Russell's CD's. It's one of my favorites.