Slydell's Well

My friend Slydell, he built a well
with brick and mortar, he carried water to those hills
where the poor folks live
where thirst was constant and severe

Poor old Slydell, he did not know
the earth he heaved and sowed had only just been sold
to a land mogul
who said, “We’ll never give away what we can sell.”

Good old Slydell, he gave ‘em hell
He grabbed his rifle, and led his people up that hill
where the rich folks live
and hollered, “As I live and breathe you’ll never take this well.”

I told Slydell, I said, “Man this is dangerous.”
“You’ve got a good brain to bust by bossman’s measure,” his mama told him.
“But this drought’s a-killin’ us,” he said
“There’s no water under us and no gods above us sendin rain”

The rich folk said, “Hell, you got yourself a deal”
They snifted brandys and toasted to their health
then called the boys at the jail
and beneath a rusty still, Slydell’s bed was fell upon by thugs with clubs
They beat him black as hell, and threw him down his well
The water turned red, the water turned blood red
and poisoned every rich man’s throat that ever drank from there

Chorus
Them ain’t my people, those ain’t my laws
I won’t abide their merciless resolve
His mama told him, “but this drought’s a-killin’ us,” he said
“There’s no water under us and no gods above us sendin rain”