Woody Guthrie - I AIN'T GOT NO HOME

First performance: 23/09/1988


When asked to contribute a recording for a tribute album for Guthrie (and Leadbelly), Bruce provided not one but two: "Vigilante Man," and "I Ain’t Got No Home." Bruce recorded " I Ain’t Got No Home" in his home studio, in a quiet, vulnerable arrangement that features just him, Roy, and Nils. Bruce changed the lyrics, making the song both more modern and more inclusive. Both songs were released in August 1988 on the album Folkways: A Vision Shared. Bruce also contributed a live performance to the album’s companion documentary film. That performance was recorded at a Madison Square Garden soundcheck on May 19, 1988).


I ain't got no home in this world anymore is a song written (words and music) by Woody Guthrie. It was recorded by Guthrie on 26 Apr 1940 . Thi recording were originally released in 1940 on Guthrie's Dust Bowl Ballads Volume 1 (catalogue # P 27) and Dust Bowl Ballads Volume 2 (catalogue # P 28), each being a three-disc collection of 78 rpm records. I ain't got no home in this world anymore was included on the second volume, size E. Woody Guthrie also recorded the song
earlier in 1940, but this version from the RCA Victor session is the most known one. The song is more known under the shortened title "I Ain't Got No Home" as listed on the Folkways: A Vision Shared - A Tribute To Woody Guthrie And Leadbelly. The song is also known as "Blowin' Down This Road" which was used on the 1940 release Dust Bowl Ballads Volume 2. The original song encourages the poor to consider their suffering on this earth as advance payment for eternal reward in the afterlife. Guthrie had a problem with that notion, so he used the same melody and lyrical structure to instead shed light and awareness on those who truly had no home in the world. 

Other cover versions

Bruce on the artist


Original Woody Guthrie version

I ain't got no home, I'm just a roamin' around
Just a wandering worker, I go from town to town
And the police make it hard wherever I may go
And I ain't got no home in this world anymore

My brothers and my sisters are stranded on this road
A hot and dusty road that a million feet have trod
Rich men took my home and drove me from my door
And I ain't got no home in this world anymore

Was farmin' on the shares and always I was poor
My crops I laid into the banker's store
My wife took down and died upon the cabin floor
And I ain't got no home in this world anymore

Now as I look around it's mighty plain to see
This world is such a great and a funny place to be
Oh, the gamblin' man is rich and the workin' man is poor
And I ain't got no home in this world anymore