This Land Is Your Land / God Bless America

A few years ago on ezFolk, Richard invited us to post a patriotic song for the 4th of July

I knew that I  wanted to do something with Woody Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land.

I also knew this:

“The anthem of unity and beauty which so many children learned in school was actually written in response to the equally reverenced "God Bless America".  ... Woody was infuriated with the lack of realism and the message of complacency in this song which infiltrated the nation's air waves. In response, he wrote "God Blessed America For Me" which later became "This Land Is Your Land".”


So I endeavoured to create a sort of a medley of This Land is Your Land, and God Bless America:

This Land Original DraftThe lyrics to God Blessed America for Me, (the original version of This Land Is Your Land,) as well as the clickable image at left of the draft in Woody’s own hand, are available at the aforementioned AMERICAN STUDIES at the University of Virginia

A complete set of more recent lyrics is available on THIS PAGE of The Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives site.

More interesting info and links are available on this Library of Congress – Patriotic Melodies page.

The lyrics I sing are variations, (as is the wont of the ‘folk process’,) learned from the recordings of various artists, including Woody, The Weavers, Arlo Guthrie, and Bruce Springsteen.

This Land is Your Land - Woody Guthrie
God Bless America - Irving Berlin
Medley Arranged by Tony Provencher
- 2006
Vocal and Clawhammer Banjo - Tony Provencher
Album: The ezFolk Sails
Lyrics
Woody Guthrie
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.

(Chorus)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.

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.

(Chorus)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 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.

One bright sunny morning in the shadow of the steeple,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land still made for you and me?

(Chorus)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.

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.

(Chorus)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.
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