Dust Bowl Refugee Analysis

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I see the smiling faces attached to eager bodies shuffling with anticipation. On the edges of their seats they hover awaiting the next song. In their eyes, there is a sparkle, an impressive amount of awareness to the space they have just filled with sound. The people came to sing with a community, and what they experienced was a communal celebration of solidarity. For thousands of years music has brought people together. Along with their voices, they intertwined their souls for a specific cause. For worship, to get through hard times, or to celebrate music, communal song has been utilized to facilitate unity. Communal song is a beautiful anomaly. One can’t quite put to words the feeling of a room, a church, a stadium, or an entire parade …show more content…
They suffered from famine, sickness, and extreme poverty. However, they kept a beautiful spirit about them. A spirit which artists like Woody Guthrie picked up on, and wrote songs which truly embodied the sense of hopefulness the “Okies” exuded on their trek to find the American Dream which was taken out from under them. Songs like, Dust Bowl Refugee and Dust Bowl Blues highlight the struggle of the migrant workers who Guthrie was traveling with. In these Lyrics from Dust Bowl Refugee a picture of an “Okie’s” family is painted, and the lingering question is asked “Will I always be a dust bowl …show more content…
Higher wages, better hours and working conditions were all on the list of what these workers were unionizing for. They would often use songs to recruit other workers to the union. In Songs of Work and Freedom, Edith Fowke and Joe Glazer explain their hypothesis of why such powerful union songs were born out of coal mines and textile mills.

The textile workers and coal-miners have worked mostly in lonely mine-patches and mill villages, many of them located in the rural south or in isolated mountain communities. Many of these workers come from a great singing tradition --secular or religious, or both. Miners and mill-workers have had along, fierce, and often tragic struggle to build a union. This combination of isolation, singing tradition, and bitter struggle has provided what might be called the perfect climate for the production of protest songs. (Fowke,

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