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Old 06-30-2002, 10:34 PM   #1
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This land is your land

I assume most of you have heard of Woody Guthrie. The man who wrote "This land is your land"
Now, this song is known to be a patriotic american song right? Wrong. Woody was a communist. I also assume you have all heard the song "god bless america". Woody wrote "This land is your land" as a protest against that song. He didn't feel like America had been blessed by any god. So he had this whole speach about that (Which I can't find) that he gave to some congressmen back in the 1940's. After his speach, he started to sing this: Now, before you read the lyrics think about this: He wrote this song as a protest against God bless america and noe this song is considered a patriotic song. The last three verses are usually cut out when school kids sing this song. Of course the original song title was NOT "This land is your land"

God blessed America
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
God blessed america for me

As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
God blessed america for 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
God blessed america for 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
God blessed america for 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 god blessed that side for 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 god blessed america for me.
Chorus (2x)
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Old 06-30-2002, 11:24 PM   #2
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Wow, I didnt know all of that thanxs for tell us about it.
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Old 06-30-2002, 11:45 PM   #3
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uhhh...it's ok that he was a communist. that doesn't make him un-american. i didn't know that about our man woody, where did you get that information from?

as far as the last few verses, we sang all of those in elementary school, though we never really got what it meant.

Quote:
Now, this song is known to be a patriotic american song right? Wrong. Woody was a communist.
the fact that he was a communist (or was allegedly one) doesn't take away from his song being patriotic. this land is STILL for you and me. his political affiliation doesn't take away from the meaning of his words.
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Old 07-01-2002, 12:04 AM   #4
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i always thought that song was a bit shady, i mean, this land is our land, but only because we slaughtered thousands of native americans to get it..........
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Old 07-01-2002, 12:14 AM   #5
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Raven-
Does Satan make you this angry?
or
are you just a 15 yr old going thru an idenity crisis trying to find yourself on a U2based fan board?
Help us out.
Peace-

DB9
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Old 07-01-2002, 01:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stories for Boys
i always thought that song was a bit shady, i mean, this land is our land, but only because we slaughtered thousands of native americans to get it..........

nooo *hides history* whatever are you talking about *hides the fact that she went to a high school named after the first governor of minnesota who led the largest slaughter of native americans ever but the school's mascot was the warrior* we europeans were the first ones over here....
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Old 07-01-2002, 01:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
Raven-
Does Satan make you this angry?
or
are you just a 15 yr old going thru an idenity crisis trying to find yourself on a U2based fan board?
Help us out.
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hell diamond, even i am not this angry.
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Old 07-01-2002, 03:10 AM   #8
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Help US out Diamond. I've never seen you be narsty to anyone, but that was borderline dude. Its not cool to put people down for their beliefs. I hope you reply saying you and Raven are good mates and this was a joke.
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Old 07-01-2002, 08:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lilly
uhhh...it's ok that he was a communist. that doesn't make him un-american.
Yes It does. Hahahha

I'm a big fan of Raven.. I'm just waiting for her to be drawn into the Tastic Poetry Thread... either one.. But diamond.. watch out for my friend Zone.. When you dismiss someone as a 'prepubescent idealistic girl', you're in for a great game of Cat and Mouse.. but don't worry, you're the cat. Hahaha.. Just picking Z.. Tee Hee

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Old 07-01-2002, 10:19 AM   #10
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At the music camp I go to we have nightly faculty concerts. One of the drama guys told the speech to us and sang the song.
He wrote that as a protest song to the song God bless america. He was opposed to what america stood for at the time and dint feel like it had been blessed at all.
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Old 07-01-2002, 12:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by RavenStar
He wrote that as a protest song to the song God bless america. He was opposed to what america stood for at the time and dint feel like it had been blessed at all.
I also read that somewhere
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Old 07-01-2002, 12:58 PM   #12
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I honestly think Guthrie didn't "get" the song he was protesting. From the Library of Congress:

America's unofficial national anthem was composed by an immigrant who left his home in Siberia for America when he was only five years old. The original version of "God Bless America" was written by Irving Berlin (1888-1989) during the summer of 1918 at Camp Upton, located in Yaphank, Long Island, for his Ziegfeld-style revue, Yip, Yip, Yaphank. "Make her victorious on land and foam, God Bless America..." ran the original lyric. However, Berlin decided that the solemn tone of "God Bless America" was somewhat out of keeping with the more comedic elements of the show and the song was laid aside.

In the fall of 1938, as war was again threatening Europe, Berlin decided to write a "peace" song. He recalled his "God Bless America" from twenty years earlier and made some alterations to reflect the different state of the world. Singer Kate Smith introduced the revised "God Bless America" during her radio broadcast on Armistice Day, 1938. The song was an immediate sensation; the sheet music was in great demand. Berlin soon established the God Bless America Fund, dedicating the royalties to the Boy and Girl Scouts of America.


Here you have a song written by an immigrant form Siberia, in response to the increasing tension of a Europe wary of Nazi Germany.

Guthrie apparently misinterpreted the song as some proclamation that God HAS blessed America - rather than a prayer and request of God TO bless America. Hence, I suppose, his response.

I find it deliciously ironic that a song inspired by his cynical misinterpretation of "God Bless America" was ITSELF transformed into a song of patriotism.


Seriously, many of these early songs are clearly written, to the point that misinterpretation seems so unlikely, and yet...

...this reminds me of Dan Rather's post-9/11 appearance on Letterman, how he got choked up about a certain line in America the Beautiful:

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good
With brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!


He lamented that the song wasn't true, that NYC was no longer "undimmed by human tears," when it seems clear to ME that the song is about the vision of alabaster cities in the FUTURE.

But I digress.
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