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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

America

It always saddens me that on July 4 these days, we hear that Lee Greenwood song a lot, and "God Bless America" a lot. The latter's a good song and all, and I don't really care for the former, but what actually makes me sad is that Woody Guthrie's great tune doesn't seem to get heard much at all outside of folk circles.

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.


I wish that was our national anthem, quite frankly. But enough of that: Happy Birthday, America.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly. I think someone should start a lobby...

Roger Owen Green said...

I always loved the verse with "it didn't say nothin'"

Tosy And Cosh said...

There's a wonderful rendition of this by a very young Bob Dylan on the soundtrack to the Scorcese Dylan documentary, No Direction Home. Spare, and slow, and kind of fatalistic.

Anonymous said...

The hubby and I took the kids to Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, VA last night to see the 'works. It was a terrific show, albeit frightfully crowded, and a soundtrack played alongside. "This Land" was one of the featured songs (along with, among others, "They're Coming to America by Neil Diamond, which made me chuckle), but it was a version sung by children, not Woodie, and it only included the first two verses. Another strong contender for national anthem (IMO) is Ray Charles' "America the Beautiful," which was also played last night, with a booming 'works accompaniment. As I said, terrific!