This Land is Your Land
My Dusty Road
via Rounder Records
a note about this track
Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie (July 14, 1912 â€“ October 3, 1967) - American singer-songwriter and folk musician whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children's songs, ballads and improvised works.
Many of his songs are about his experiences in the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression when Guthrie traveled with displaced farmers from Oklahoma to California and learned their traditional folk and blues songs, earning him the nickname the "Dust Bowl Troubadour.
His early life was marked with tragedy. There were several fires, one that caused the loss of his family's home, one in which his sister Clara died when Guthrie was seven, and Guthrie's father was severely burned in a subsequent coal-oil fire. His mother was committed to the Oklahoma Hospital for the Insane, where she died in 1930 from Huntington's disease and later his father would die of drowning. Researchers suspect that this death also was a result of Huntingtonâ€™s, the same hereditary disease that would eventually take Woodyâ€™s life.***********
His best-known song is "This Land Is Your Land."
Guthrie was tired of the radio overplaying Irving Berlin's "God Bless America." He thought the lyrics were unrealistic and complacent. Partly inspired by his experiences during a cross-country trip and his distaste for "God Bless America," he wrote his most famous song, "This Land Is Your Land", in February 1940; it was subtitled: "God Blessed America for Me." Guthrie signed the manuscript with the comment, "All you can write is what you see, Woody G., N.Y., N.Y., N.Y." He protested against class inequality in the fourth and sixth verses: These verses were often omitted in subsequent recordings
As I went walking, I saw a sign there,
And on the sign there, 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 a steeple;
By the relief office, I'd seen my people.
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking,
Is this land made for you and me?