Hard Travelin'
05. Hard Travelin’
(Woody Guthrie/TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc., BMI)

Track 5 – Hard Travelin’ (MASTER 689)
In May, 1941, Guthrie was hired by the Department of the Interior’s Bonneville Power Administration to provide songs for the soundtrack of a public relations film promoting the prospects of hydroelectric dams along the Columbia River. He was to write 26 songs over the span of a month including such enduring works as “Roll On, Columbia,” “Pastures of Plenty,” and “Hard Travelin’,” one of his most widely recorded numbers. Retaining the melody and the theme, Guthrie rewrote the song in 1945 for inclusion in a mimeographed songbook. In a draft introduction to that small collection, Guthrie wrote, “I done just about every kind of work I ever heard of and here’s just a song, a story, a little history about myself that I sung up. And I got the callouses to prove it.”

Guthrie plays mandolin, Houston guitar, and Terry mouth harp on this recording.