Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Norman Kelley On Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" As An Anthem for the Occupy Wall Street Movement

Woody Guthrie, 1912-1967

Norman Kelley



Norman Kelley is not only right about the greatness (and inspiring endurance) of Woody Guthrie's justly famous and seminal protest song but it's a very nice and even comforting irony that another fine contemporary singer/songwriter and political activist Tom Morello (formerly of the '90s legendary politically radical rock group RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE) sang Guthrie's classic song acapella accompanied by his acoustic guitar at the 'Occupy Wall Street' site for thousands of very appreciative demonstrators gathered there just two days ago. The roaring and highly enthusiastic response that Morello received from the crowd only further validates the eternal social relevance and deep political clarity of this song and everything it says about this country and its people...(Note: Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen also sang this song in its entirety at the Lincoln Memorial at President Obama's inauguration celebration in January, 2009)


OCTOBER 9, 2011
The 99% Anthem: "This Land is Your Land"

The 99% movement needs to crystalize its ideas in a basic simple song. I suggest an American classic: THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND--words and music by Woody Guthrie

Norman Kelley
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

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


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


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


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!


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.

Chorus (2x)