A celebration of a true Okie

  • The Nation: Steve Earle on Woody Guthrie
      . . . Does all this mean that the world would be a different place if Woody had dodged the genetic bullet and lived? You bet your progressive ass! Just imagine what we missed! Woody publishing his second and third books! Woody on the picket lines with Cesar Chavez and the farmworkers singin’ “Deportee”! I could go on forever. I have imagined hundreds of similar scenarios, but then at some point it always dawns on me how selfish I am.

      Let him go. He did his bit. Besides, as much as we need him right now, I wouldn’t wish this post-9/11 world on Woody. He hated Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” more than any other song in the world. He believed that it was jingoistic and exclusive, so he wrote a song of his own. It goes:

      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.