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Wednesday, May 28, 2008
`Ballad of John Garfield'
(chorus) They crushed John Garfield because he wouldn’t inform They drove him from the screen and he lost his livelihood.
(verses) A funeral was held on the Upper West Side Ten thousand people mourned and cried An actor was gone at the age of 39 John Garfield of The Group Theatre had died.
He was born in 1913 on the Lower East Side In a factory, his father worked all day Paychecks were small and the tenement halls Were filled with many worried souls. (chorus)
His mother passed away when he was just a child And up to the Bronx, his father moved He played hooky too much and got expelled from some schools And he always seemed in a troubled mood.
But then he found a friend in the middle of the rules A man named Angelo Patri And Patri helped him out and he boxed and did act And he hitchhiked across the country. (chorus)
And then the Thirties came and jobs were hard to find And around The Group Theatre he hung They taught him there his craft and he learnt some politics And from their stage, he went to Hollywood.
His screen intensity caused him to steal the scenes And he soon achieved great popularity Among his movies: “They Made Me A Criminal”, “Gentleman’s Agreement” and “Body and Soul.” (chorus)
Off-screen, he was restless and felt chained by his wife And his family still left him unfulfilled His rise up from the depths to fame and great success Made some people nickname him “Prince Bart.”
His friends were on the Left who worked for peace and justice So when the Red Scare came, they got repressed And John had signed too much to protest Wall Street’s lust And so his name got smeared by the blacklist. (chorus)
Although he was still young, his last eighteen months They would not let him even make one film To stifle all dissent, John Garfield, Wall Street crushed For he symbolized resistance to their will. (chorus)
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