Time to pack their meager load,
Nothing could be sold,
Still only a light load.
Take what little the cars would hold,
Precious keepsakes they might load,
Bare needs, if a wagon they towed.
Families and friends together rode,
Pool money for gas along the road,
Join caravans as West they flowed.
Where kindred spirits flowed,
Endless lines of hope flowed,
Flowed along that Joad road.
Times it snowed,
Times the sun and wind they rode,
A road paved with flattened toad.
Each day, a long day,
Delay, after delay,
Along the way.
Broken down cars by the side of the road,
Many a tire blow'd,
Cars patched and wire sewed.
On and on, loads a flapping,
Tires a slapping,
Some riders napping,
On and on they flowed,
Camping beside the Mother Road,
Nightly campfires across the sky glowed.
Lives in story heard and told,
Stories of poor and desperate were told,
Stories of dreams told, and retold.
Those too sick or old for the hard road,
Buried beside the road,
Dreams those graves will forever hold.
Spirits broken by the hard road,
Watching life erode,
Feeling dreams erode.
Fearing money would not hold,
No other hope to hold,
On and on, they rode.