From the recording The Great Folk Heist
Come you ladies and you gentlemen
And listen to my song,
I'll sing it to you right, but you might think it's wrong,
May make you mad, but I mean no harm,
It's just about the renters on Penny's farm.
It's hard times in the country,
Down on Penny's farm.
Now you move out on Penny's farm,
Plant a little crop of 'bacco and a little crop of corn,
Come around to see you're gonna flip and flop,
Till you get yourself a mortgage
On everything you got.
Hasn't George Penny got a flattering mouth?
Move you to the country in a little log house.
Got nothing it but the cracks in the wall.
He'll work you in the summer and rob you in the fall.
You go in the fields
And you work all day,
Way into night , but you get no pay,
You're promised some meat or a bucket of lard,
It's hard to be a renter on Penny's farm.
George Penny's renters, they come into town,
With their hands in their pockets, and their heads hanging down,
Go in the store and the merchant will say:
"Your mortgage is due
And I'm looking for my pay."
Down in his pocket with a trembling hand --
"Can't pay you all but I'll pay you what I can."
Then to the telephone the merchant makes a call,
"They'll put you on the chain gang
If you don't pay it all."