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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Paul Stamler Origins: Joshua Gone Barbados (Eric Von Schmidt) (51* d) ADD: Joshua Gone Barbados^^^ 13 Feb 98

Yes, I've heard of it. The song was written by Eric Von Schmidt; I don't have the music, but here are the words:

(Eric Von Schmidt)

Cane standin' in the field
Gettin' old and red
Lot of misery in Georgetown
Three folks lyin' dead
Joshua head of government
Say "Strike for better pay"
Cane cutters strikin'
Joshua gone away

Joshua gone Barbados
Stayin' in a big hotel
People on St. Vincent's
Got many sad tales to tell

Sugar mill owner told the strikers
"I don't need you to cut my cane
Bring in another bunch of fellas
Your strike be all in vain
Yeah, bring in a bunch of tough fellas
Bring 'em from Zion Hill
Bring 'em in a bus to Georgetown
You know somebody get killed"
Police givin' protection
New fellas cuttin' cane
Strikers can't do nothin'
Their strike be all in vain

Sonny Child, the overseer
I swear he's an ignorant man
He's walkin' through the cane field
Pistol in his hand
Sonny Child, he curse the strikers
You know he wave his pistol 'round
They're beating Sonny with a cutlass
They beat him to the ground
Cane standin' in the field
Gettin' old and red
Sonny Child lyin' in the hospital
Pistol by his bed

I wish I could go to England
Trinidad or Curacao
People on the island
They got no place to go
There's a lot of misery in Georgetown
You can hear the women bawl
Joshua gone Barbados
He don't care at all

- Eric Von Schmidt (BMI)

The song was recorded by Howard Bursen on his first album, "Cider in the Kitchen" (Folk-Legacy FSI-74). I don't know if Sandy Paton still stocks cassettes of this one, but if so, it's a fine recording.

Peace. Paul

Added to the Digital Tradition April 1998.

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