Big Grand Coolee Dam


Big Grand Coolee Dam music and lyrics were published in the public domain in Guthrie's illustrated songbook in 1946. The actual spelling is "Coulee" but we've kept Guthrie's for it's "cool" effect. Note he includes his address to request more copies of his songbook. Now that's populism in action!
Big Grand Coolee Dam
Woody Guthrie Songbook, 1946
Well the world has seven wonders that the travelers always tell
Some gardens and some flowers I guess you know them well
But now the greatest wonder is in Uncle Sam's fair land
It's that king Columbia River and that big Grand Coolee Dam

She heads up the Canadian Rockies where the rippling waters glide
Comes rumbling down the canyon to meet that salty tide
Of that wide Pacific ocean where the sun sets in the West
In that big Grand Coolee Country the land I love the best.

She winds down her granite canyon and she bends across the lea
Like a silver running stallion down her seaway to the sea
Cast your eyes upon the greatest thing yet built by human hands
On that king Columbia River it's that big Grand Coolee Dam.

In that misty crystal glitter of her wild and windward spray
We carved a mighty history of the sacrifices made
She ripped our boats to splinters but she gave us dreams dream
Of the day the Collee Dam would cross that wild and wasted stream.

We all took up this challenge in the year of thirty-three
For the farmer and factory and all of you and me
We said, roll along Columbia, you can ramble to the sea
But river while you're rambling you can do a little work for we!

Now in Washington and Oregon you hear the factories hum
Making chrome and making manganese and light aluminum
And you see a flying fortress wing her way for freedom land
Spawned up on that king Columbia by that big Grand Coolee Dam.

For more copies of this song book:
Woody Guthrie
3380 Mermaid Avenue
Brooklyn, 24, New York

Big Grand Coolee Dam was featured as The Short Story of the Day on Mon, Sep 02, 2019


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