This Land Is Your Land

One of the most subversive songs ever. I’d love to see this be the U.S. national anthem. Or maybe it should be Occupy’s 🙂

Some facts:
Woody Guthrie wrote this in 1940, but it wasn’t copyright till 1951
It contains protest elements that are very often dropped from many performances
Ronald Reagan played this as part of his campaign promotion
Bruce Springsteen started performing the full lyrics in reaction to this hypocrisy.
(More here)

I tried to find a subtitled version on YouTube, but they are all the bowdlerized version. So here is Bruce Springsteen, with the lyrics below:


[Audio: English/music; Transcript: English]

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.
As I went 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 roamed and I rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
While 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
A voice was chanting, As the fog was lifting,
This land was made for you and me.
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me;
Sign was painted, it said private property;
But on the back side it didn’t say nothing;
This land was 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.
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?

Note that Guthrie himself sang different versions. The first portion above is generally considered the sanitized version. This recording by Guthrie includes the extra more controversial ones. (I am going by what I’m piecing together, if the song recordings differ please let me know). This Land is Your Land – Woody Guthrie

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