Saturday, July 14, 2007

Happy birthday Woody Guthrie

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
1912 Woody Guthrie (d. 1967), American folk singer/songwriter ('This Land is Your Land').

'This Land is Your Land' is almost always sung as a patriotic song, which is why the last three stanzas are usually deleted. Most schoolchildren aren’t even aware of their existence. Yet they are essential to Woody’s meaning. This is not an ode to the US as a collective entity. It is an affirmation that the land is a sacred trust, whose purpose is the well-being of all its inhabitants.

As I went walking, I saw a sign there
On the sign it said NO TRESPASSING
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing
That side was made for you and me!

In the squares of the city, in the shadow of the steeple
In the relief office, I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry I stood there asking,
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking that freedom highway
Nobody living can make me turn back
This land was made for you and me

In 1998, Woody's daughter Nora approached the British singer Billy Bragg about recording lyrics her father had composed in the later years of his life. After researching the lyrics at the Woody Guthrie Archive in New York City, Bragg worked with the band Wilco to record 40 tracks, a number of which were released on the album Mermaid Avenue, followed by Mermaid Avenue II. In 2004, Bob Dylan wrote his own recollections about these unrecorded Guthrie songs ...

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Anonymous joel hanes said...

"This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years,
and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn,
cause we don't give a dern.
Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it.
We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do."
Woody Guthrie songbook, sometime in the 30s

2:23 AM  

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