Barry Ollman Songs
See Ya' In Okemah
Words and music, Barry Ollman, 2009.
There's a little town in the middle of nowhere, which is a great place to be from.
There was a curly headed baby in that dusty old world; I mean talk about Born to Run...
He said that we were Bound for Glory and he told us we were Born to Win.
Now that water tower says this is the home of Woody Guthrie
Case you're wonderin' whose town we're in.
I'll see ya' in Okemah when Woody's birthday comes around.
We get together and sing a bunch of songs, I can't think of a sweeter sound.
We sing Hard Travelin' and Do Re Mi, Deportees and So Long,
Tom Joad, This Land and Reuben James; you know that list goes on and on...
Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet when you're Walking Down That Road Feelin' Bad,
Cause Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key I see that Vigilante Man,
Where Ingrid Bergman meets Pretty Boy Floyd and Mrs. Roosevelt meets East Texas Red,
There's a Philadelphia Lawyer with old Gypsy Davy just a messin' with my head.
So I'll meet you at the Crystal Theater when those house lights turn down low.
You might be sitting in a seat where Woody watched an old motion picture show.
Cause in the summertime when that wind blows hot, there's a feelin' rolls out across this land.
We all drop what we're doing and head for Oklahoma
To sing along with Woody's band.
I'll see ya' in Okemah when Woody's Birthday rolls around
We get together and sing a bunch of songs, I can't think of a sweeter sound
We sing Hard Travelin' and Do Re Mi, Deportees and So Long
Tom Joad, This Land and Reuben James, you know the music goes on and on,
Don't have to tell ya', the music goes on and on, all night long, the music goes on and on...
For the past sixteen years some enthusiastic and dedicated folks in Oklahoma have given the world a lovely and free music festival in honor of our great American inspiration, Woody Guthrie, in his hometown of Okemah. I've been very happy to have been included in their program since 2007 where I have given a presentation called "Collecting Woody".
A few years back I felt a desire to contribute something musical to this wonderful event and hence, this humble offering, See Ya' In Okemah.
There are a lot of excellent musicians who play there year after year and a lot of amazing new ones too but when I started to record this song I knew I had to call my friend, the great David Amram and see if he would participate in the recording. Well, he did, generous soul that he is. I actually met David about 25 years ago in NYC where he was sitting in with one of my favorites, Steve Goodman, at the Lone Star Cafe. I'll never forget seeing David playing dueling penny whistles as Steve took us for a ride on The City Of New Orleans. The next time we met, a few years back, we became instant friends, playing in a large circle of musicians from all over the world, in the parking lot of the world renowned Okemah Motor Lodge. It was at least 2:00 in the morning, and I felt a great sense of appreciation for this most unusual man.
He's truly the last of a breed and I'm proud to call him my friend. Check out his whimsical and lethal penny whistle parts on this song and put that together with Christian Teele (of the Etones) on washboard and percussion and enjoy.
Next year in Okemah, everybody!
PS: Check out photographer Jim Dirden's website where he uses See Ya' In Okemah as part of the soundtrack for his musical slideshow of a recent WoodyFest.