For a free download or to stream:

In response to the recently passed Arizona Immigration Law AZ SB1070, a newly charged version of Woody Guthrie’s “Deportees” has been recorded by Outernational featuring Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman. The song is available to the public at no cost and it is the band’s hope that everyone who hears it will spread it far and wide by posting and re-posting online, and that radio and other media will pick up on it as well.

“As sides are being drawn over the issue of immigration, I’m honored to join with Outernational on Woody Guthrie’s “Deportees”. Prejudice and ignorance are at the core of Arizona’s recent immigration legislation and Woody Guthrie’s “Deportees” was written to combat just that sort of prejudice,” voiced Tom Morello.

Woody Guthrie wrote “Deportees” in 1948 some days after a plane crash occurred in the Los Gatos Mountains, near the farms of the California central valley. The crash took the lives of several Americans and 28 migrant, Mexican workers. Guthrie was taken by how the reports of the crash only mentioned the names of the Americans and referred to the Mexican workers as just deportees.

An airplane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon
Like a fireball of lightning it shook all our hills
Who are these friends all scattered like dry leaves?
The radio says, “They are just deportees”

Outernational will be on the ground, in Arizona on May 29th in lock step solidarity with the thousands of people protesting this law. They believe that taken together, SB 1070, along with House Bill 2281, the new legislation which targets and dismantles ‘ethnic studies,’ represents officially sanctioned white supremacy and American chauvinism.

Some of us are illegal and some are not wanted
When contract is out, we’ve got to move on
Its six hundred miles to the Mexican border
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves

Outernational has been touring non-stop for many months and began to revitalize “Deportees” on stage as they played shows on their way out west from their home in New York City. The band is known for its revolutionary message and electrified genre bending rock sound; it’s no wonder their version of the powerful folk song became an up-tempo and rousing celebration of Mexican culture complete with accordion and eventually a classical guitar solo courtesy of Morello.

“We recorded Deportees with Tom Morello and are going down to Arizona on May 29th to stand with all the people courageously fighting back against these unjust and immoral laws. Outernational is about a whole new world, a world without borders and nations. Todos somos illegales. We are all illegals,” expressed Miles Solay of Outernational.

The song is excellent. I hadn’t heard of Outernational before, but I just listened to some of their other music, and there are some good songs there. Not on the level of The Nightwatchman or Street Sweeper Social Club, but then, what is?

Comments are closed.