A song for the Gulf


James Wright, Senior Editor

Published on
July 15, 2010

So many times over the past three months I've found myself utterly speechless over what I've seen, heard and read about the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico and how the catastrophic oil spill is devastating the fragile ecosystem and similarly fragile way of life for the people who call the Gulf home.

It's impossible to ignore the emotion of it all as fishermen stay tied up on shore, unable to work, and long-standing seafood businesses — people I know personally — watch theirs and their employees' livelihoods slowly disappear.

On Thursday I saw a short C-SPAN video clip taken at a presidential commission in New Orleans convened to look into the BP oil spill. During a public comment session, Louisiana crawfisherman Drew Landry, a Baton Rouge native, shared his frustrations with the panel and then played a touching song that he wrote about the damage done and what's to come (Drew plays in a band called Bandryland).

It's powerful. There's not much left to say, except that I'm hoping that a solution is found soon to stop the oil from gushing into the water that supports so many lives and businesses in a place where you're considered at home, no matter where you're from.

Click here to watch Landry's stirring performance. But if you don't have audio or video available, I've transcribed the song for you below:

Grew up on the southern shores
Louisiana now it ain't no more
Kicking mud off a crawfish hole
Barefooted with a fishing pole
I make a living with my own two hands
Hell it's part of being who I am
Went to working in the oil fields
That's the only way to pay our bills
And if I'm lucky I could have a son
I'd take him huntin' like his daddy done
Get him working on a shrimpin' boat
Up and down the Gulf of Mexico

Living dead out on a deep-sea rig
Doing what it is they had to live
Oil bleeding from a gaping hole
Up and down the Gulf of Mexico
Morgan City down to Mobile Bay
Pascagoula down to F-L-A
Still I'm stuck out here for seven more
Watching everything turn black on the shore
And brother even if they cap the well
Hell it's just another oil spill
Our way of life won't be around no more
All I wanted was to go back home

Little brother he ain't feeling well
What you spraying on that oil spill?
How many of us going to lose our lives
Before the people get to work on time?
Kicking mud up off a crawfish hole
Barefooted with a fishin' pole
Come back into the oil fields
That's the only way to pay our bills

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