This Land is Your Land

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"This Land is Your Land" is a folk song written with socialist intent by Woody Guthrie in 1940, and initially recorded in 1944. It has been recorded by performer/liberal activist Bruce Springsteen, liberal folk singer Bob Dylan, and British socialist performer Billy Bragg. Despite the communist sympathies of Guthrie and this song, it is generally regarded as one of America's favorite folk songs and was at one point being considered as a suggestion to be the national anthem.[1] Communist Pete Seeger has stated that Guthrie was also a communist; however, Guthrie's membership in the Communist Party is debated (though he has always been associated with United States communist groups), and his daughter called him a "commonist, not a communist."[2]

One of the last verses of the song mentions the right of easement, which (to some) implies that there should be no such thing as private property.

As I was walking, I saw a sign there;
And on the sign said "No Trespassing";
But on the other side, it didn't say nothing;
This land is made for you and me.

An alternative is:

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.

Another verse implying a need for welfare is:

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?

Complete lyrics

Chorus:

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 was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
This land was made for you and me

Chorus

I've roamed and rambled and I've 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

Chorus

The sun comes shining as I was strolling
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
This land was made for you and me

Chorus

As I was walking' - I saw a sign there
And that sign said "No trespassing"
But on the other side .... it didn't say nothing!
Now that side was made for you and me!

Chorus

In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office - I see my people
And some are grumbling and some are wondering
If this land's still made for you and me.

Chorus (2x)

References

  1. [1]
  2. Woody Guthrie still inspires, 100 years on from his birth Ed Vulliamy, guardian.co.uk, July 7, 2012, retrieved September 13, 2012
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