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The Ballad of Juan Corona

Pinto/ Cassady

It was up in Yuba City, I just got off that train
I went down to the shack where my friends were
They were drunk again
Port wine, so pure and sweet... Take a sip
And pass the bottle back to me

Well, I heard a knocking at the back door and
Juan Corona came in... He was a labor contractor
Not unknown to most of the men
He said, “Hey amigos, come along with me
Do you want to trabajar”
We trusted him, we trusted him, In his van we
Got our reward

We were all situated in the back seat, when
Juan Corona, before he shut the door
He started rambling and rummaging through
A black box he had on the floor
He pulled out a big machete, started swinging it
Around... I could not believe my eyes, I was
Terrified... Then I heard that terrible sound

Juan Corona don’t kill me, Juan Corona I don’t want to die
Juan Corona don’t kill me, I want to live to drink another

Well his lawyers said about the men he killed
They had no children or families there
They were all just shiftless and lazy and they didn’t have no cares
How did they benefit society, why they’d rather drink than toil
I submit their main contribution was the nitrogen they gave to the soil

They tried Juan once, they tried Juan twice, justice was their goal
Juan got life in the Big House and lots of lawyers got off the welfare rolls
God bless the judge and the jury, the President , and the King
And God bless all the bums who died, who never lived to drink and sing


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