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The year is 1928 and wealthy easterner, Vivian Marks, has just lost her home, fortune, everything, except for a piece of bottomland in Missouri.



All of my life it’s been the men
Who told me to leave it up to them.
“We’ll do your financial management---
And you can be an ornament!”

“Dear trouble not your pretty head,”
Was all I ever did hear said..
Well, now it’s all left up to me,
And all I’ve got is my…misery!

There’s nothing else that’s left to me.
It’s a Godforsaken place to be!

Didn’t I lead a privileged life,
As wealthy Mr. Marks wife?
Those days are gone, like wisps of smoke,
Thanks, Mr. Marks, for now I’m broke!

I’ve lost possessions, buildings and land,
I left my fortune in his hands.
But all those years I couldn’t see,
That all he was holding was…misery!

Since this is all that’s left for me,
I guess I’ll go to my Miz-zouri.
I’ll go and see what I can find;
It’s all I’ve got…but at least it’s mine!

You women who defer to men,
To do your business management,
Do it yourself or you might someday be
Like Vivian in her misery!

Chorus: Missouri…Misery!
There’s nothing else. (At least it’s free!)
It’s a God-forsaken destiny-
It’s a God-forsaken coun-ter-ree
It’s a God-forsaken place to be!


from Gumbo Bottoms, a Big Muddy Musical, released May 22, 2014
Lesley Oswald- Vivian, Cathy Barton & Josh Kluck - chorus
Cathy Barton – banjo, Dave Para – guitar, David Wilson – fiddle, Kevin Hennessy – upright bass


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Gumbo Bottoms Band and Cast Boonville, Missouri

"Gumbo Bottoms, a Big Muddy Musical" was inspired by stories of people who lived and worked along the Missouri River. Turner Hall River Rats for the Arts, a community organization in Boonville, Missouri, sponsored the development of the musical, the premiere in 2008, the regional tour and this studio recording. ... more

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