Judy Collins - Deportee Lyrics

The crops are all in and the peaches are rott'ning,

The oranges piled in their creosote dumps;

They're flying 'em back to the Mexican border

To pay all their money to wade back again

Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,

Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;

You won't have your names when you ride the big airplane,

All they will call you will be "deportees"

My father's own father, he waded that river,

They took all the money he made in his life;

My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees,

And they rode the truck till they took down and died.

Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,

Our work contract's out and we have to move on;

Six hundred miles to that Mexican border,

They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

We died in your hills, we died in your deserts,

We died in your valleys and died on your plains.

We died 'neath your trees and we died in your bushes,

Both sides of the river, we died just the same.

The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,

A fireball of lightning, and shook all our hills,

Who are all these friends, all scattered like dry leaves?

The radio says, "They are just deportees"

Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?

Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?

To fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil

And be called by no name except "deportees"?

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Judy Collins Deportee Comments
  1. Anna S.

    This was the first version of this beautiful sad song I heard many years ago. It plays in my head so often now. What a sad time we live in today.

    M. Evers

    It is so true what you’re saying.....what is happened to us that we have become so hatefull....!??

  2. steve wishnevsky

    time to stop this crap

  3. M. Evers

    Who can tell me on which album this song is on?

  4. Jim McGettigan

    Beautiful ballad, Judy🙏


    “I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight, I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.” Theodore Parker, January 29, 1858

  6. solice8844

    My parents are Asian American immigrants from China who came here legally in 1948. They legally entered this country and followed all the laws to become US citizens. They worked hard and long 14 hour days, 7 days a week and raised a family with 8 children and sent them all to college (because they never had the opportunity for education themselves). Because they did everything legally it wasn't necessary to live in the shadows nor work "under the table" away from purview of immigration authorities. It is just so much easier to do things legally than to operate against the rule of law. Together as a nation we welcome all legal immigrants to this great country of opportunity.

    Anna Powell

    Maybe you should read about how the US interfered in the affairs of much of South America. Good for you and your family--maybe try to understand what is happening in the world.

  7. Franz Josef Bolte-Heinz

    very nice, Judy, many thanks for this wonderful song by Woody Guthrie!

  8. Catherine Murphy

    This woman is so beautiful and a great singer.

  9. Frank Wood

    Great arrangement of a timeless song.

  10. Kathryne Scott

    if we won't pick it who will?
    the fruit would rot of the vine as we turn our noses up and refuse to pick it.


    The people will pick the fruit when the government welfare handouts are removed and the able bodied workers EARN their living.

  11. Marios Papastylianos

    Thank you Col Johnson i searched for this more than 20 years .i also loved Sairam photo

  12. Paloma Salaz

    Que bella cancion!!

  13. John Corcoran, Jr.

    I'd like to dedicate this powerful, moving, emotional song to the man who has none of the above--Donald Trump.

    Donna Nehls

    John Corcoran, Jr. And just look at where we are now with that sniveling excuse for a President.


    Really? I wasn't aware that our President had blown up a deportee's plane over Los Gatos. He would never do that. This song was written long ago before he became President. The writer must be referring to someone else at that time.

  14. Antoine Cozian

    Gracias Col

  15. Ivan Waterfall

    Heard many versions of this song by Woodie Guthrie, but the best is by Arlo Guthrie


    +Ivan Waterfall I agree if you mean the version of Arlo with Emmy Lou Harris.

  16. Col Johnson

    Thank you for your kind words John.

  17. Pbeede32

    This song was from my grandmother's time.  I'm 58.  Have we learned nothing?

    Marios Papastylianos

    +Pbeede32 unfortunately no ...because we want ..the others to change

  18. Eric Lloyd

    Woodie wrote it.  Judy sang it.  It's still relevant.  It breaks my heart to live in a country that has exchanged deportee or illegal alien.  America, where is your heart?

    Col Johnson

    It is no different in Australia.  We are even more mean.  Hope it won't last too much longer.

    Alan Buckley

    @Col Johnson Right on Col.


    Yes it's sad, but it's the same thing here in Europe. Maybe even worse.

    late fall chill

    This year's American election process and bias is so disturbing. I thought in 2016 America was beyond this much bigotry and racism. Man was I wrong. It sort of reminds me of Germany 1933.

    M. Evers

    It is not only America that has lost its heart, the whole world nowedays has lost its heart (I hope I wrote it in the right way...)

  19. José Alonso

    La versión que más me gusta de esta canción. Gracias

  20. justb0bbyg

    Their names are now known!!

    Ken Running

    What are their names? There was no DNA testing at that time. Must have gone by boarding manifest. Mexico MUST provide enough jobs for Mexicans who want to live proudly in Mexico. Shut down Cartels The USA will take care of the murderer, EL CHAPO. Don't wait for the world to help. Help Yourselves. There are a lot of very good and smart Mexicans. I know. I've been to Mexico (from Mexico City, Cullican, and Reynosia, 30-40 times.

  21. Dan Donohue

    Thanks for sharing this great album.

  22. kostasbr51

    Lo que cuenta la canción sigue vigente hoy, igual que hace 50 años. En todos los lugares donde los inmigrantes son tratados como animales.

    Martha Cousins

    We see it every day -- or more accurately, we know it's there and choose not to see it.

  23. fanchbrezoneg

    the best version of this wonderful song !!!

    Mike Gallagher