Talkin' Woody Guthrie Huntington's Chorea Blues
by Tom Flannery
copyright 2004
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Huntington's Disease was called "Huntington's Chorea" back when Woody Guthrie was 
diagnosed with it in 1952. He inherited the deadly degenerative brain disorder from his
mother,  who died from it at the age of 41...when Woody was 15 years old. 
After a brave struggle, Woody Guthrie  succumbed to Huntington's Disease 
on October 3rd, 1967.

Two of Woody's daughters have died of the disease as well.

I got this thing called chorea in my head
wanna walk but I fall down instead
folks say "Woody, he's just drunk again"
but I haven't had a drink since I don't know when
besides...I only drink when I'm alone...or with somebody

My arms felt funny moving all the time
and sometimes my head didn't feel like mine
kept telling myself it was the Ballantine Ale
and them jugs of wine on the writing trail
I prefer a disease you can sober up from

Chorea took my mother so it's been waiting on me
us Guthrie's got brains like them bourgeoisie
if you're not careful you can get lost up there
like a poor man searching for a millionaire
I got more friends than dollars.....but I lose 'em both the same

Sent me to a hospital I opened the door
saw my reflection in their nice clean floor
don't mind seeing someone who looks like me
but I do get nervous when he stares back at me
so I ran...but when you're dizzy you go round in circles

Friends said "Woody it's good you're here"
then they'd slip out the back door and disappear
it's like no quite knowing where you've bled
when you wake up with the sheets all red
I try not to bleed red anymore 'cause they'll call me a commie if I do

A doctor George Huntington....he gave it the name
and all these years later it's still the same
no cure but the patience of the ones you love
and the busy schedule of the Lord above
you can usually count on him....but's he's mighty slow

I'll come's not fun on the inside
for protections your arms tied to your side
I can hear you and I know what I want to say
but my brain no longer works that way
maybe I said too much's one way to shut me up

If you can't remember how I died remember how I lived
and if you can find it in your heart to forgive
know that the piece of brain that had to fall
never affected my love for you at all
I'm gonna play this thing 'till they find a cure...