"Talking Columbia Blues" lyrics - RAMBLIN' JACK ELLIOTT

"Talking Columbia Blues"

I was down 'long the river, just settin' on a rock
Lookin' at the boats in Bonneville Lock
And the gate swings open and the boat sails in
Toots her whistle, she's gone a gin'!

Well, I fills up my hat brim, drunk a sweet taste
Thought 'bout the river goin' to waste
Thought 'bout the dust, thought 'bout the sand
Thought 'bout the people, thought 'bout the land
Ever'body runnin' round all over creation
Just lookin' for some kind of a little place

Pulled out my pencil, scribbled this song
I figgered all these salmon fishers can't be wrong
Them salmon fish, they're mighty shrewd
They got senators, politicians, too!
Just like a President, they run ever' four years

Yes, them folks back east are doin' a lot o' talkin'
Some of 'em balkin' and some of 'em squawkin'
But with all their figgerin' and all their books
Well, they just didn't know them raw Chinooks
Salmon! That's a good river!

Just watch this river and pretty soon
Ever'body's goin' to be changin' their tune
The big Grand Coulee and Bonneville Dam
Run a thousand factories for Uncle Sam
An' ever'body else in the world
Makin' ever'thing from sewing machines to fertilizer
Atomic bedrooms!... Plastic!
Everything's gonna be made out of plastic!

Yes, Uncle Sam needs wool, Uncle Sam needs wheat
Uncle Sam needs houses and stuff to eat
Uncle Sam needs water and power dams
Uncle Sam needs people and people needs land
Don't like dictators not much, myself
But I think the whole country ought to be run
By electricity!