Malvina Reynolds: Song Lyrics and Poems  

Bury Me in My Overalls

Notes: words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1956 Northern Music Corporation, renewed 1984. Written during a time when Malvina's husband Bud was quite sick.

Bury me in my overalls,
Don't use my gabardines,
Bury me in my overalls
Or in my beat-up jeans.
Give my suit to Uncle Jake,
He can wear it at my wake,
And bury me in my overalls.

The undertaker will get my dough,
The grave will get my bones,
And what is left will have to go
For one of those granite stones,
But this suit cost me two weeks pay
So let it live another day,
And bury me in my overalls.

The grave it is a quiet place,
There is no labor there,
And I will rest more easy
In the clothes I always wear.
This suit was made for warmer climes,
Holidays and happy times,
So bury me in my overalls.

I gave a hand to clear the land
And make the cities rise,
I helped to bring the harvest in
And lay the railroad ties.
I boomed about from east to west,
It's time I had a little rest,
So bury me in my overalls.

And when I get to heaven
Where they tally work and sin,
They'll open up those pearly gates
And holler, "Come on in!
A workin stiff like you, we know,
Has had his share of Hell below,
So come to glory in your overalls!"

Malvina Reynolds songbook(s) in which the music to this song appears:
---- Song in My Pocket: Songs
---- Little Boxes and Other Handmade Songs
---- The Malvina Reynolds Songbook

Other place(s) where the music to this song appears:
---- Sing Out!, Volume 4(7) (1954), p. 31
---- Sing Out!, Volume 21(5) (1972), p. 15

Malvina Reynolds recording(s) on which this song is performed:
---- Mama Lion
---- At Work; The Music of California Labor (San Francisco State University, 2004)
---- Ear to the Ground

---- listen to video

Recordings by other artists on which this song is performed:
---- Barbara Dane and Lightnin' Hopkins: Sometimes I Believe She Loves Me (Arhoolie CD-451, 1996)
---- Gateway Singers: Puttin' on the Style (Decca DL 8413, 1957)
---- Gateway Singers: "Monaco/Bury Me in My Overalls" (45 r.p.m. single, Decca 30088)
---- Faith Petric: When Did We Have Sauerkraut? (Center Records CR105, n.d.)
---- Rosalie Sorrels and Utah Phillips: Worker's Doxology (Cold-drill, 1992) [same material as next entry]
---- Rosalie Sorrels and Utah Phillips: The Long Memory (Red House Records RHR CD 83, 1996)

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This page copyright 2006 by Charles H. Smith and Nancy Schimmel. All rights reserved.

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