This song was collected by Margaret Valiant in a migrant camp in California. Valiant was working for the Library of Congress and her material was collected in 1939 and 1940.
This clever song explains the rudiments of agricultural pricing and the effects on the workers. The melody seems to be original. Interestingly, the collector Charles Todd, during an interview which took place in 1980, referred to this song in a somewhat negative manner. He stated that the authorship lay with a professor from Vassar College who was visiting the camps. He stated that he could not remember her name but that she tried to pass this off as an original ‘migrant’ song. No matter the source of the song it is good and paints a broad picture of the migrants’ plight.
It is sung here by The 198 String Band.