Towson Musician Takes On “Old Man Trump” with a Sandtown Music Video

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Towson-born folkie Ryan Harvey fights against Donald Trump with a lost Woody Guthrie song about the billionaire’s father and a video set in Sandtown.

By chance, Guthrie moved into Fred Trump’s apartment building Beach Haven in 1950. His time as Trump’s tenant inspired the lyrics to unrecorded songs “Old Man Trump” in which the songwriter railed against his landlord’s racially discriminatory practices.

They go like this:

I suppose
Old Man Trump knows
Just how much
Racial Hate
he stirred up
In the bloodpot of human hearts
When he drawed
That color line
Here at his
Eighteen hundred family project

and this:

Beach Haven ain’t my home!
I just cain’t pay this rent!
My money’s down the drain!
And my soul is badly bent!
Beach Haven looks like heaven
Where no black ones come to roam!
No, no, no! Old Man Trump!
Old Beach Haven ain’t my home!

The song was never recorded by Guthrie, but Harvey has revived it and re-aimed it at the Republican presidential nominee, who himself has been accused of stirring up “racial hate” with his incendiary speeches and half-hearted denunciations of white supremacists supporters.

For the music video, Harvey moved the setting of the song from New York City to Sandtown in Baltimore, in order to “make it about the modern housing struggle,” Harvey told Baltimore magazine.

A portion of proceeds from the song will be donated to the Right to Housing Alliance.



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