Friday, May 13, 2011

The Many Faces of Tom Joad

The Song "The Ghost of Tom Joad" was originally recorded by Bruce Springstein in 1995. The character of Tom Joad was originally taken from John Steinbeck's GRAPES OF WRATH, but Springstein was also influenced by Woody Guthrie's song "The Ballad of Tom Joad." When writing the song Springstein read Steinbeck's book, he watched the movie, and listened faithfully to Guthrie's song, along with other research he conducted on 1930's activism. The most direct quote to the Grapes of Wrath is

Now Tom said "Mom, wherever there's a cop beatin' a guy

Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries

Where there's a fight against the blood and hatred in the air

Look for me mom I'll be there

Wherever there's somebody fightin' for a place to stand Or a decent job or a helpin' hand

Wherever somebody's strugglin' to be free

Look in their eyes Mom you'll see me."

Since the original recording there have been others who have taken a chance to play the song including Trash Rap band Rage Against the Machine, Nickelback, Swedish band Junip, and English songwriter Martyn Joseph.

Below are links to all of the bands reditions of the Song

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