This Land Is Your Land

Album: The Very Best of Woody Guthrie (1944)
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  • 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

    And I went walking that ribbon of highway
    And saw above me that endless skyway
    I saw below me the golden valley
    This land was made for you and me

    I roamed and rambled and followed my footsteps
    To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
    And all around meT, a voice was sounding
    This land was made for you and me

    There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me
    A sign was painted said: Private Property
    But on the back side it didn't say nothing
    This land was made for you and me

    When the sun come shining, then I was strolling
    In wheat fields waving and dust clouds rolling
    The 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 Lyrics from a song in Public Domain

Comments: 19

  • Sue from Usa MidwestI love the information provided and the perspectives covered of how the song was received.
    SIRI provided me this page when I asked about a movie in which the only details I can remember are: it starred a Quaid (Dennis or Randy) portraying woody, this song is in the movie and it has the word Bound in the title Anyway love and appreciate the work you have put into this. Small enhancement suggestion would be add any film connections Thanks Sue
  • Rick from America Woodie Guthrie was a communist.
  • Michael from Vienna (austria)Let me first tell you that English is not my mother tongue, so please don't critisize me if my command of that language is not perfect. However I have always thought that the lyrics of this song are stupid and are written by somebody with absolutely no gift for poetry. I have never heard of "The New York Island" and I have the feeling that Guthrie just put in, because he needed something on the East Coast to rhyme with "my land". And as far I know "footsteps" does not rhyme with "deserts". Of course I know that good poetry - which this is song isn't! - does not need to rhyme, but it looks as if Guthrie wants to rhyme, but isn't able to.
  • Harvey Wachtel from Kew Gardens, NyI think that although the lyrics suggest this song is about land, it's actually a socialist anthem against greed in general. There's no way the Native Americans, victims of territory-greedy settlers, are going to get their ancestral land back, but they are nevertheless part of the "we" that Guthrie says the land now belongs to.

    Well, at least Bernie has rescued the word "socialism" from the Bolsheviks. We may get there someday.
  • Harvey Wachtel from Kew Gardens, Ny@echo: Please understand I'm not trying to troll or contradict your post; As someone interested in but not too knowledgeable about music theory, I'm genuinely curious about your reaction to the common melodic variation on the second syllable of "waters". Why do you dislike it? Is it only because it's a variation, do you feel that it detracts from the spirit of the melody, or what? Thanks.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 24th 1963, Peter, Paul & Mary's second studio album, 'Moving', peaked at #2* {for 1 week} on Billboard's Top LP Albums chart; the week it was at #2, the #1 album for that week was 'Songs I Sing On The Jackie Gleason Show' by Frank Fontaine...
    Track six of side one on the album was the trio's covered version of "This Land Is Your Land"...
    * After the album spent its one week at #2, it stayed at #3 for the next four weeks.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 23rd 1940, Woody Guthrie, while in his room at the Hanover House Hotel in New York City, wrote the lyrics to "This Land Is Your Land"...
    In 1962 two covered versions of the song entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and both debut on the same day, The New Christy Minstrels at #93 and Ketty Lester at #97, and both also remained on the chart for just one week...
    The song is a favorite of Bruce Springsteen; between 1980 and 2013 he had performed the song in 107 different concerts.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 1st, 1962, Ketty Lester's covered version of the song entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart for a one week stay, at position 97.
  • Sarx from Tucson, AzIn 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.

    As true today as when he wrote them.
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesI've always been bothered a little by this song because despite knowing he did not mean it this way at all, it makes me ask -- who are "you and me?" What about the Indians? This makes the "patriotic" misinterpretation even more perfidious. While, of course, the original lyrics convey an Indian belief that no one owns land. This was the only Indian lyric I could find, but I am sure there are more. "This land is your land, but it once was my land -- until we sold you Manhattan Island. You pushed our nations to the reservations -- this land was stole by you from me."
  • Kody from Martinsville, InTom Morrelo From rage against the machine also does a cover of this song on his solo stuff
    (the nightwatchmen) he commented on how it was popular for children in school where they only use the 1st verse and leave out everything else , making the song appear completely what it isn't. and i agree
  • Joel from Tulsa, OkBruce Springsteen has covered this and I think Bob Dylan, who was greatly influenced by Guthrie, also did a cover.
  • Musicmama from New York, NyThis song shows us what patriotism really is: the love of one's homeland and the people in it, and the belief that the land belongs to everyone. Too often, "patriotism" is used as a term for nationalism, which is too often subverted toward other agendae (e.g., If you are patriotic, you support invasions of Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan.) and is enforced with violence. Woody Guthrie, perhaps more than any other songwriter, composed from both the heart and the gut--which is why this song, and others he wrote and sang, work so well.
  • Echo from Normalville, Mai hate how people go down to the fifth on "waters"
  • Jon from Oakridge, OrI LOVE this song also. Just another Guthrie classic. Sadly, quickly being forgotten, like many other great musicians.
  • Bob from N. Riverside, IlThis song is sooooooooo emotional. whenever i hear it i brek down in tears of pity and overwhelming joy. This song has been stuct in my head for ever
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScI never really paid attention to the words before, and hadn't known all of them. I now get the message that Woody was trying to tell us. Unfortunately, I don't think plliticians are going to stop misinterpreting songs such as this and "Born in the U.S.A." any time soon.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScThere's a live verwsion of this that Bob Dylan performed. I can't remember where it was recorded at the moment, but it is on the No Direction Home sound track.
  • Loretta from Liverpool, Englandwoody guthrie had a good sense if humor and wrote a very nice parody of his own son:

    "This land is my land!
    It is not your land!
    I got a shot gun
    And you ain't got one!
    If you don't get off
    I'll blow you're head off!"

    and it goes on. you get the idea.
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