Utah Phillips who was an anarchist, hobo, railroader, folksinger, community activist, tramp, husband, father, amazing storyteller and honorable man, passed away while asleep Friday night in his home in Nevada City, California. As a regular listener of his radio show Loafer's Glory: The Hobo Jungle of the Mind, I found his storytelling fascinating. His stories are those needing to be told about the hard work and efforts of the Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies) from today and long ago. A hero dedicated to honor all workers, both men and women. He will not be forgotten.
THE TWO BUMS
(AUTHOR UNKNOWN, FIRST PRINTED IN GEORGE MILBURN'S THE HOBO'S HORNBOOK, NEW YORK, 1930)
The bum on the rod is hunted down
As the enemy of mankind;
The other is driven around to his club
And feted, wined and dined.
And they who curse the bum on the rods
As the essence of all that is bad
Will greet the other with a winning smile
And extend him the hand so glad.
The bum on the rods is a social flea
Who gets an occasional bite;
The bum on the plush is a social leech,
Blood-sucking day and night.
The bum on the rods is a load so light
That his weight we scarcely feel,
But it takes the labor of dozens of men
To furnish the other meal.
As long as you sanction the bum on the plush,
The other will always be there,
But rid yourself of the bum on the plush
And the other will disappear.
Then make an intelligent, organized kick,
Get rid of the weights that crush;
Don't worry about the bum on the rods,
Get rid of the bum on the plush!