Roll On Columbia

Album: Columbia River Collection (1941)
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Songfacts®:

  • Guthrie wrote this after he was hired by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), to write songs. Guthrie was 28 years old and unemployed, and the BPA needed to promote the benefits of building dams. Guthrie moved his family from California to Oregon, and was paid $266 a month to write songs. He came up with 26 songs in 30 days, including this one, which was a tribute to the Columbia River. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington
  • The music to this song was based on "Goodnight Irene" by Leadbelly. Guthrie often put his lyrics to existing melodies.

Comments: 2

  • Vivek from Bangalore, IndiaGuthrie was one of the major influences on Bob dylan. He even worte a song for guthrie when he was in the hospital, close to his death.
  • Mike from Mountlake Terrace, WashingtonOne of the most popular songs in the history of the United States, it is paean to the harnessing of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest to help farms and industry through federally-built hydroelectric power facilties. It became famous as an anthem about American public works projects arising out of FDR's New Deal in the Great Depression.
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