In black, we hear a chain-gang chant, many voices together,
spaced around the unison strike of picks against rock. A
title burns in:
Sing in me, and through me tell the story
Of that man skilled in all the ways of contending...
A wanderer, harried for years on end...
On the sound of an impact we cut to:
splitting a rock.
As the chant continues, wider angles show the chain-gang at
work. They are black men in bleached and faded stripes,
chained together, working under a brutal midday sun.
It is flat delta countryside; the straight-ruled road
stretches to infinity. Mounted guards with shotguns lazily
patrol the line.
The chain-gang chant is regular and, it seems, timeless.
We slowly fade out, returning to
The last of the voices fades.
After a long beat we hear the guitar introduction to Harry
McClintock's 'The Big Rock Candy Mountain.'
A WHEAT FIELD:
A road cuts across the middle background. Noonday sun beats
We hear the distant picks and shovels of men at work and
see, rising above ground level, the occasional upraised pick
and spade heaving dirt. Men are digging a ditch alongside
After a long beat, three men pop up in the wheat field in
the middle foreground. They wear faded stripes and grey duck-
billed caps. They scurry abreast toward the camera, throwing
an occasional glance back at the ditch-diggers. A clanking
sound accompanies their run. Oddly, the wheat between them
sweeps down as they run. After a brief sprint they drop back
down into the wheat.