Like every good, card-carrying leftist, I know about Woody Guthrie and what he stood for. Surely everyone in the U.S. has heard part of “This Land is Your Land,” at least in the white-washed setting where it’s severed from its political roots.

I didn’t know about the additional verses to the song, though. They are on on Wikipedia:

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?

The Wikipedia talks about how the lyrics were restored at Obama’s inaugural (more proof that he’s a socialist). It also includes a note Guthrie made about his copyright of the song:

“This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do.”

Rolling Stone’s review of the latest re-release prompted my interest in Guthrie’s this song. The review includes a picture, which I’m ashamed to say I haven’t seen before. My immediate response: “wow.”


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