HE LIES IN THE AMERICAN LAND

Original Pete Seeger version


Ah, my God! What is this land of America?
So many people traveling there
I will go too, for I am still young
God, the Lord will grant me good luck there

You, my wife, stay here 'til you hear from me
When you get my letter, put everything in order
Mount a raven-black steed, a horse like the wind
Fly across the ocean to join me here

Ah, but when she arrived in this strange land
Here in McKeesport, this valley, this valley of fire
Only his grave, his blood did she find
Over it bitterly she cried

Ah, my husband, what have you done to this family of yours?
What can you say to these children, to these children you've orphaned?
Tell them, my wife, not to wait, not to wait, not to wait for me
Tell them I lie here, in the American land


Info

HE LIES IN THE AMERICAN LAND is a poem written by immigrant steelworker Andrew Kovaly, and later set to music by Pete Seeger who originally released it on his 1956 album American Industrial Ballads.

Pete Seeger -- American Industrial Ballads (1956 original issue, album cover art)
Pete Seeger -- American Industrial Ballads

LP - Folkways Records ‎(FH 5251) - USA, 1956
Pete Seeger -- American Industrial Ballads (1992 reissue, album cover art)
Pete Seeger -- American Industrial Ballads

CD - Smithsonian Folkways ‎(CD SF 40058) - USA, 1992

Springsteen's Version

Bruce Springsteen's AMERICAN LAND, which he wrote in 2006, uses the first verse from Andrew Kovaly's HE LIES IN THE AMERICAN LAND.

Available Versions

List of available versions of HE LIES IN THE AMERICAN LAND on this website:

HE LIES IN THE AMERICAN LAND [Original Pete Seeger version]

Page last updated: 19 Jan 2012