California Cotton Fields

My driftin’ memory goes back to the spring of ’43
When I was just a child in Mama’s arms
My Daddy plowed the ground and prayed
that some day he could leave
This run down mortgaged workload of a farm.

Then one night I heard my Daddy saying to my Mama
That he’d finally saved enough to go
California was his dream for paradise that he had seen
In pictures in magazines that told him so

   California Cotton fields
   Where labor towns were filled with great men with broken dreams
   California cotton fields
   As close to wealth as Daddy ever came

Almost everything we had was sold or left behind
From Daddy’s belt to the fruit that Mama canned
Some folks came to say farewell and to see what all we had to sell
Some just came to shake my Daddy’s hand.

The Model A was loaded down and California bound
And good luck was just about four days away
The only change that I recall happening to my Daddy
Was when his dark hair turned to silver gray.