Here are some lines first set down in the typescript of a 14-page songbook, “Alonzo Zilch’s Own Collection of Original Songs and Ballads,” written by a 23-year-old high school dropout named Woodrow Wilson Guthrie in 1935. With only the slightest revision in the presidential moniker, it could stand as a viable and vibrant political program for our day.

If I was President Roosevelt
I’d make the groceries free —
I’d give away new Stetson hats
And let the whisky be.
I’d pass out suits of clothing
At least three times a week —
And shoot the first big oil man
That killed the fishing creek.

*For more, see the biography, Ramblin’ Man, by Ed Cray.

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