This Land Is Your Land…

This Land Is Your Land

Song 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

Woody Guthrie has been on my mind lately. Maybe that is because in a few weeks I will be visiting The Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa Oklahoma. It will be my first visit to that city. ¬†Another folk song hero of mine was Bob Dylan. He introduced me to Woody’s songs and I still have many of both their songs in my head. ¬†Here is a little about ¬†both these guys from Wiki:

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, a new generation of young people was inspired by folk singers such as Guthrie. These “folk revivalists” became more politically aware in their music than those of the previous generation. The¬†American Folk Revival¬†was beginning to take place, focused on the issues of the day, such as the¬†civil rights movement¬†and¬†free speech movement.

Pockets of folk singers were forming around the country in places such as¬†Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the¬†Greenwich Village¬†neighborhood of New York City. One of Guthrie’s visitors at Greystone Park was the 19-year-old¬†Bob Dylan, who idolized Guthrie. Dylan wrote of Guthrie’s repertoire: “The songs themselves were really beyond category. They had the infinite sweep of humanity in them.” After learning of Guthrie’s whereabouts, Dylan regularly visited him. Guthrie died of complications of¬†Huntington’s disease¬†on October 3, 1967.

By the time of his death, his work had been discovered by a new audience, introduced to them through Dylan,¬†Pete Seeger,¬†Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, his ex-wife Marjorie and other new members of the folk revival, and his son¬†Arlo.

As I have mentioned before the song above should become our national anthem.¬†I will be talking much more about Woody in my upcoming “On the Road Reports” in a few weeks.

Woody Guthrie is very much what is at the heart of America…

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