by Katie Williams

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I wrote this song after watching Ken Burns' documentary about the Dust Bowl. I had written a short poem, a year prior, about a woman who was unable to have children. For some reason when I watched the documentary, the two just clicked. I expanded upon the poem and arrived at the song "Barren." Ruby May is a character based loosely off of my great-aunt and my Father's side of the family, who grew up in Sallisaw, Oklahoma during the Great Depression.


1930 was the year they sat and watched the rain clouds clear
along with hope rhyme and reason
Ruby May sat in dismay as the soil blew away
She cried my God where do we go

It peeled the skin off of the land
Right out of the farmer’s hands
God and nature gave no favors
Ruby May longed for a babe
To keep the loneliness at bay
But could not stay with child for long

And the wind cried
Blow blow blow dustbowl blow

It threw the dirt up to the sky
Would stop a plow and blind the eye
Like two midnights in a jug

Even rain couldn’t find the time
To visit places so unkind
All that fell were Ruby’s tears

Grandma said it’s Armageddon
Grandpa said his last confession
God Almighty is a comin’
Ruby mourned the nowhere child
Belly empty meek and mild
Lord forgive her final sin

And the wind cried
Blow blow blow dustbowl blow

So just like that land they lived on
All promise was gone
And oh poor Ruby
Never to bear a crop again

So as that black blizzard blew through town
They laid her body in the ground
The grave was dark and infertile
Oh the wind howled out of key
To a hymn call faith and misery
Ruby May was fast asleep

And the wind cried blow blow blow dustbowl blow


released June 16, 2014
Jessey Thompson- guitar,lead guitar, harmonica
Bob Moore- mandolin, dobro
Riley Taylor- recording, productiopn



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Katie Williams Norman, Oklahoma

Katie currently lives in Norman OK. She has traveled many places, but loves calling Oklahoma "home." She has always found solace and expression through writing, but only fully realized her passion when she put her words to music. Katie writes all of her own songs, plays guitar, and is constantly improving her craft. She says her only goal is to give back what music has given to her- "consolation." ... more

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