Saturday, January 31, 2009

Appropriate

The older I get, the stronger the words of Woody Guthrie become:
THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND 
words and music by Woody Guthrie

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 walkin' - I saw a sign there
And that sign said - no tress passin'
But on the other side .... it didn't say nothin!
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 grumblin' and some are wonderin'
If this land's still made for you and me.

Pretty Boy Floyd
by Woody Guthrie
If you'll gather 'round me children
A story I will tell
Of Pretty Boy Floyd an outlaw
Oklahoma knew him well.
It was in the town of Shawnee
It was Saturday afternoon
His wife beside him in his wagon
As into town they rode.

There a deputy sheriff approached him
In a manner rather rude
Using vulgar words of language
And his wife she overheard.
Pretty Boy grabbed a log chain
And the deputy grabbed a gun
And in the fight that followed
He laid that deputy down.

He took to the trees and timbers
And he lived a life of shame
Every crime in Oklahoma was added to his name
Yes, he took to the trees and timbers
On that Canadian River's shore
And Pretty Boy found a welcome
At a many a farmer's door.

There's a many a starving farmer
The same old story told
How this outlaw paid their mortgage
And saved their little home.
Others tell you 'bout a stranger
That come to beg a meal
And underneath his napkin
Left a thousand dollar bill.

It was in Oklahoma City
It was on a Christmas Day
There come a whole car load of groceries
With a letter that did say:
You say that I'm an outlaw
You say that I'm a thief
Here's a Christmas dinner
For the families on relief.

Now as through this world I ramble
I see lots of funny men
Some will rob you with a Six gun
And some with a fountain pen.
But as through your life you travel
As through your life you roam
You won't never see an outlaw
Drive a family from their home.


Woody Guthrie

2 comments:

elroy99 said...

"This Land Is Your Land" was written in revulsion to Kate Smith's drippy "America the Beautiful." Although this land does get some sing-along play as a patriotic anthem, few realize Guthrie meant it as a socialist hymnn. Funny thing: I remember singing this song and Pete Seeger songs like "Erie Canal" in school in the late '60s. Of course, that would never happen now. And the conservafascists like to peg us as "intolerant." And, of course, they get away with it....

HemlockMan said...

Yeah, my song book in grammar school was filled with such songs. No more, you can be certain.