The Human Race is a Pretty Old Race

by Woody Guthrie

I have hoped as many hopes and dreamed so many dreams, seen them swept aside by weather, and blown away by men, washed away in my own mistakes, that I used to wonder if it wouldn’t be better just to haul off and quit hoping. Just to protect my own inner brain, my own mind and heart, by drawing it up into a hard knot, and not having any more hopes or dreams at all. Pull in my feelings and call back all of my sentiments, and not let any earthly event move me in either direction, either cause me to hate, to fear, to love, to care, to take sides, to argue the matter at all. 

And yet, there are certain good times, and pleasures that I never can forget, no matter how much I want to, because the pleasures, and the displeasures, the good times and the bad, are really all there is to me.

And these pleasures that you cannot ever forget are the yeast that always starts working in your mind again, and it gets in your thoughts again, and in your eyes again, and then, all at once, no matter what has happened to you, you are building a brand new world again, based and built on the mistakes, the wreck, the hard luck and trouble of the old one.

The note of hope is the only note that can help us or save us from falling to the bottom of the heap of evolution, because largely, about all a human being is anyway, is just a hoping machine, a working machine, and any song that says, “the pleasures I have seen in all of my trouble, are the things I never can get” - don’t worry - the human race will sing this way as long as there is a human race. The human race is a pretty old race.


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