Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Most American of Songs

This Land

Words and Music by Woody Guthrie

This land is your land This land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that endless skyway:
I saw below me that golden valley:
This land was made for you and me.

I've roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts;
And all around me a voice was sounding:
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting:
This land was made for you and me.

There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me.
The sign was painted, said 'Private Property.'
But on the backside, it didn't say nothing.
This land was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By 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 ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.


Edze said...

It always had a bit of an ironic ring to me....

TEC said...

Guthrie was hired by the Dept. of the Interior circa 1941 to write folk songs about the Columbia River for the Bonneville Power Administration's dams. Inspired by tour of PNW, he wrote 26 songs in one month. So the word on street at the time was that his songs that have lasted like "Roll on Columbia, Roll on" were not real folk music, but contracted gov't propaganda. I do not know if I agree. You cannot take the heart out of a folk singer. -- TEC