Poetry Friday: Celebrating Woody Guthrie’s 100th. birthday

Poetry Friday is hosted by Jone at Check it Out

Saturday, July the 14th., will mark Woody Guthrie’s 100th. birthday.  I thought, with our political winds swirling around the way they seem to be, that the words to his original version of “This Land is Your Land” hold special meaning today.



“A folk song is what’s wrong and how to fix it or it could be

who’s hungry and where their mouth is or

who’s out of work and where the job is or
who’s broke and where the money is or
who’s carrying a gun and where the peace is.” 



This Land Is Your 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.
As I went walking I saw a sign there
And 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 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.

© Copyright 1956 (renewed), 1958 (renewed), 1970 and 1972 by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. & TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)

Here’s the story behind this song:

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6 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Celebrating Woody Guthrie’s 100th. birthday

  1. Thank you for this, Tara. I have loved all those old folk songs for a long while & taught some to my children. We were lucky to see Pete Seeger in a small audience one year when our children were maybe about 5 and 9. He sang right to them because we were on the front row! And he spoke much of Woody Guthrie's legacy for him & for all of us. I am grateful to the gifts artists give us.

  2. Hi Tara! I like Linda's story about seeing Pete Seeger — that must have been very special! I shared This Land is Your Land a few years ago for the 4th of July. Happy Birthday, Woody!

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