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Woody Guthrie Records This Land is Your Land

Date(s)
May 19, 1944

In response to the great depression, the dust bowl, and the poor treatment of migrants and African Americans in the United States, ‘outlaw’ folk singer Woody Guthrie began playing and recording folk music to protest corrupt politicians and oppressive big businesses. With This Land Is Your Land, Guthrie criticizes private property and the widespread poverty of the great depression. The song was written in response to Irving Berlin’s God Bless America, which Guthrie denounced as espousing a deceptively exclusionary view of American society. In contrast, Guthrie’s song advocates for an inclusive redefinition of America based on equality for all across the land.

Sources
Carpenter, Damian A. Lead Belly, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and American Folk Outlaw Performance. Edited by Lesley A. Coote and Alexander L. Kaufman, London and New York, Routledge, 2018. Outlaws in Literature, History, and Culture.
Noonan, David. Guitar in America: Victorian Era to Jazz Age. Jackson, U P of Mississippi, 2008. ProQuest Ebook Central, ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action? docID=515633#.
Shaw, John. This Land That I Love : Irving Berlin, Woody Guthrie, and the Story of Two American Anthems. New York, Public Affairs, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central, ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=1319699#.

Images:
This Machine Kills Fascists. Baeble Music, Baeble Media, 9 Oct. 2013, cdn.baeblemusic.com/images/bblog/10-9-2013/guthrie%20large- 580.jpg.
Woody Guthrie. NPRMusic, NPR, media.npr.org/assets/img/2012/07/05/ woody-guthrie-centennial-celebration_wide- 00ea536c0b950997981c937f35fde58f2afcbd1e-s1500-c85.jpg.
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