Preserve Staff Now!
Woodie Guthrie: Labor's Songman

I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim or too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard travelling.I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.
Woodie Guthrie[1]

Preserve Staff Now! salutes Woodie Guthrie for his appreciation of the American worker and his real concern about the challenges that workers face in a society where money talks and privilege walks. He wrote quite a few songs about labor[2] but what he is best known for is his national anthem "This Land is Your Land", a song with a catchy melody and lyrics that ring as true now as they did back in 1940. It is a song that is grounded in the reality of working people and yet at the same time leaves one feeling empowered with its constant reminder that "This land was made for you and me." Since is also focused on empowerment of workers, it is only fitting to recognize one of the Labor movement's most notable songwriter's and feature his famous anthem as well.

This Land Is Your Land[3]

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.






Further Reading
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