Union Songs

If You Wanna Know

A Song by Jack Warshaw©Jack Warshaw 2011

Now come all you good people and listen to me
I'll sing you a song about history
We come from the dust and to dust we must go
But the wonders of life are the gifts we bestow

If you wanna know where you're going
Gotta know where you've been
The great ship of history is what we're sailing in
The world is our birthright to keep and to win
Wanna know where you're going-
Gotta know where you've been

Well Adam walked in the garden with Eve by his side
And when he ate the apple his eyes were opened wide
He says “Honey I can see that you're beautiful and strong”
Say's she “I can't understand what took you so long?”

Now down through the ages tyrants kill and make war
The victor gets the spoils is what they think for sure
But freedom loving folk defend their rights also
And invaders must reap just what they sow

Now some say we're unworthy to answer the call
'Cause the eve of destruction is coming for us all
Don't give up on tomorrow and the whole human race
Just remember we all come from the same human place

Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Utah Phillips and the rest
Even Zimmerman and Lennon imagined with the best
What yesterday's world could tomorrow become
They gave us their songs and we pass them along

So all you people out there take a tip from me
Be proud of your own special history
When you're old your book of life will open wide
And pass to your children with your love inside
Final chorus


Many thanks to Smokey Dymny for permission to add this song to the Union Songs collection

Jack writes:
'A "history song" inspired by Woody Guthrie's "Biggest Thing" and a phrase I heard from blues singer Corey Harris – "If you wanna know where you're goin' you gotta know where you've been." '

See more of Jack Warshaw's work in this collection.

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