Lest you fall into the trap of thinking Woody Guthrie is all political seriousness and no fun, spend a little time with “Walt Whitman’s Niece” and Joe DiMaggio.
Guthrie wrote the lyrics, but never recorded the song. Organized by Woody’s daughter Nora, Billy Bragg and Wilco collaborated on “Mermaid Avenue” in 1998, the first of two albums of previously-unrecorded Guthrie compositions. It opened with the tale of a bawdy tale that may or may not have included the great poet’s niece.
Two years later, with a second volume, Guthrie wrote the second best baseball poem in American history – after “Casey at the Bat,” of course, with “Joe DiMaggio Done it Again”.