Dirt Poor

Dirt Poor

billwhite51's picture




Liner Notes: 

every so often, when i read one of cindys lyrics, i just know ive got to sing it. other times, i hear another voice singing it. but always, i hear a song. thank you, cundy, for entrusting this one to me. i hope i did itt justice.


I heard it many times
Memories of Mom and Dad
Growing up in the Depression
The dirt poor lives they had

My Dad told of eating possum
When there was nothing else
What they lacked in money
Was love beyond all wealth

They were dirt poor
Had a dirt floor
But their blessings sure were many
They all knew
They had to make do
Everyone saving their pennies

They talked of eating cornbread
With milk from their old cow
They talked of no shoes to wear
And fields to weed and plow

Mom wore feed sack dresses
Dad worked for a dollar a day
Despite the trials and tribulations
They wouldn’t have it any other way

Repeat chorus

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


cindyrella's picture

Oh now would my Mom and Dad love this! And of course I do! This is one of my favorites and I can picture sitting on an old porch playing and singing this.
I already have it stuck in my head too! That chorus! Love it!

atitlan's picture

The lyrics are a great slice of Americana that conjure up images of a particular period of US history. The musical treatment really gives off an appropriate vibe for the lyrics - nice guitar and harmonica. Can't imagine it having a different sound, which is always a good sign when someone takes on someone else's lyrics.

coolparadiso's picture

i felt like i was in a basement club. the music just sort of appeared. lovely that little over riff and also the harmonies. Moves along really well, a lot in this, good lyric the overcoming of adversity is always good fertile ground. Very nice collab.

Tim Fatchen's picture

Now that's a catchy chorus! Cindy, it's a great lyric. I used to get chapter and verse on the Depression from my parents, but both came from farms that were not so badly off. no money, and a limit on shoes, but not at the desperate level. But I know of lots their age who did come from this sort of background. And not just Depression. One of the two most honourable men I had the privilege to work with wasn't that much older than me, and came from that sort of hardscrabble in Texas. Bill, you've done it justice. The harp is a sweet touch too. Just right.

fresh spotless youth's picture

Yeah, that chorus is killer. When I hear that high vocal I start hearing this, oddly enough, as an indie pop song. Cue synthesizer. Anyway, this makes me feel happy. I love all the little flourishes: guitar licks, harmonica, high vocal, etc. Lots of really engaging melody. Lyric reminds me of my own grandparents experiences as farmers in New Mexico. I have that "dirt poor" line running through my head after the song is over

Jerry Pettit's picture

Ah, another uptempo happy (I guess) song I would like to walk by to put two dollars in your hat and wish you well.

Great lyrics, Cindy. Man does this take me back to my own parents' stories--not to mention my own "dirt poorness" growing up in a family of six, trying to survive off of my minister dad's meager "vow of poverty" income.

Very nice performance, Bill!

Technicolor Gramophone's picture

I like way it all fades in ... all of a sudden one is in a country-ish maelstrom of sound. Tasty picking and background vocals! Really catchy tune that captures the lyric well.

Great music and lyrics, you gave the Cindy's lyrics just what they needed with this track. I like the harmonica action and addition guitar parts. Good track!

Gwyn Jones's picture

Brill collab Cindy and Bill...words and music colliding in such a great way!

kahlo2013's picture

Really fantastic collaboration! A perfect marriage of music and lyrics. Bill sings it as if he is telling his own story and the country bluegrass feel fits the beautifully descriptive and poignant words well!

Roddy's picture

A great collaboration. Fine singing and really good lyrics. The guitar and harmonica are just right for this song. Good choice of instrumentation and style.

Wolf Kier's picture

Perfect treatment of the lyrics, like an okie (sp?) troubador folk song. Great collab, guys. Enjoyed much.
Thanks both of you for your kind words on my #3. Smile

katpiercemusic's picture

Very NYC 1960s folk club. I could imagine this being sung in a smoky dingy bar by Woody or Bob. What a wonderful collaboration.

johnstaples's picture

Ahhh this one rings true for me Cindy and Bill! My grandparents were poor farmers in rural Kentucky. Outdoor toilets...eating squirrel and rabbit and frogs. They built their own house. They built their own tools. They grew their own food. Your song really brings back a lot of memories!

I love that chorus, "They were dirt poor / Had a dirt floor" so much! And in spite of all the suffering/sacrificing, I love how you reported that they were still happy! Great lyrics! And Bill, you have such magic when it comes to bringing songs like this to life! Your emotive vocals and wailing harmonica really make this one!

Great work my friends!