I'VE GOT TO KNOW

Original Woody Guthrie version


I've got to know, yes, I've got to know, friend
Hungry lips ask me wherever I go
Comrades and friends all falling around me
I've got to know, yes, I've got to know

Why do your war boats ride on my waters
Why do your death bombs fall down from my skies
Tell me why do you burn my farm and my town down
I've got to know, friend, I've got to know

I've got to know, yes, I've got to know, friend
Hungry lips ask me wherever I go
Comrades and friends all falling around me
I've got to know, yes, I've got to know

What makes your boats haul death to my people
Nitro blockbusters, big cannons and guns
Why doesn't your ship bring food and some clothing
I've got to know, folks, I've got to know

Why can't my two hands get a good pay job
I can still plow and plant, I can still sow
Why did your law book chase me off my good land
I'd sure like to know, friend, I've just got to know

I've got to know, yes, I've got to know, friend
Hungry lips ask me wherever I go
Comrades and friends all falling around me
I've got to know, yes, I've got to know

What good work did you do, I'd like to ask you
To give you my money right out of my hands
I built your big house here to hide from my people
Why did you hide so, I'd like to know

I've got to know, yes, I've got to know, friend
Hungry lips ask me wherever I go
Comrades and friends all falling around me
I've got to know, yes, I've got to know

You keep me in jail and you lock me in prison
Your hospital's jammed and your crazy house full
What made your cop kill my trade union worker
You'll have to talk plain 'cause I've sure got to know

I've got to know, yes, I've got to know, friend
Hungry lips ask me wherever I go
Comrades and friends all falling around me
I've got to know, yes, I've got to know

Why can't I get work and cash a big paycheck
Why can't I buy things in your place and your store
Why do you close my plant now– down, down
I'm asking you, man, 'cause I've sure got to know

I've got to know, yes, I've got to know, friend
Hungry lips ask me wherever I go
Comrades and friends all falling around me
I've got to know, yes, I've got to know


Info

I'VE GOT TO KNOW is a song written by Woody Guthrie in 1948. As far as it's known, Guthrie has not released a recording of the song. However, what seems to be a demo recording was used in Tim Robbins' 1992 film Bob Roberts, playing over the closing credits. That demo was likely recorded around 1952. The above lyrics are for the original Woody Guthrie version of I'VE GOT TO KNOW that was used in the film Bob Roberts.

Bruce Springsteen's Version

Bruce Springsteen performed I'VE GOT TO KNOW live once, on 29 Sep 1996 during a Woody Guthrie tribute concert. See the live 29 Sep 1996 version for more details.

Available Versions

List of available versions of I'VE GOT TO KNOW on this website:

I'VE GOT TO KNOW [Live 29 Sep 1996 version]
I'VE GOT TO KNOW [Original Woody Guthrie version]

Page last updated: 23 Feb 2017