‘This Land is Your Land’ restored

(Big hat tip to greendem @ Daily Kos…)

How amazing to see Pete Seeger — pushing 90 years of age and more than half a life past his McCarthyist blacklisting — joined by Bruce Springsteen to sing Woody Guthrie‘s anthemic (or anti-anthemic?) “This Land is Your Land” at the pre-inaugural “We Are One” concert at the Lincoln Memorial yesterday. And how fitting that they included verses that don’t usually get taught to schoolkids…

In the squares of the city, in the shadow of a steeple;
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me;
Sign was painted, it said private property;
But on the back side it didn’t say nothing;
That side 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.

Seems fitting, given our particular moment in American history. Guthrie said it best: “A folk song is what’s wrong and how to fix it, or it could be who’s hungry and where their mouth is, or who’s out of work and where the job is, or who’s broke and where the money is, or who’s carrying a gun and where the peace is.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • bernie quigley

    Josh, you are putting up too many posts and too fast. This board had always been a forum for interested observors in Contra Costa to comment on the local political scene and personalities. It is now becoming nothing more than another news website, of which there are already too many, and is totally losing the charm of olden days. There is no time for the crowd to take in the post and, more importantly the commentary of the readers. Please slow down the posts and make sure they are of local interest.

  • bernie quigley

    One more point. This website is becoming too much Obama. We want to read and comment on the local twerps who run our county and city governments and represent us in Sacramento. We get the Obama stuff everywhere else.

  • bernie quigley

    I guess we have an alternative: switch over to the “Halfway to Concord” website. Maybe some journalist who got fired by the Times or Chronicle will start a good website on local politics.

  • BGR

    Bernie, I’ll type real slow for you if that’s what you need.

  • Josh Richman

    Sorry, Bernie — no can do. As Lisa noted here recently, her Inside Politics blog and my Political Blotter blog have been rolled together into this Political Blotter, now serving the entire East Bay and beyond. And while we’ll try to keep a focus on people and events of local and state interest, our editors have asked that from the weekend through tomorrow we focus on the biggest political news of all: the inauguration of our 44th president.

    Keep reading us, Bernie. We’ll make it worth your while.

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    Bernie, Don’t give up! I promise to keep putting up Contra Costa political news. But for today, the whole country is focused on the swearing-in of a new president.

  • bernie quigley

    It’s ok with me…. on the inaugural, I thought Rick Warren’s prayer was powerful, moving, and appropriate. I am very comfortable with him as spiritual mentor to the President. Another Californian, Diane Feinstein also did a great job this morning, served us proud. Almost aspects of the inaugural events were inspiring, a great day for our country. Words are powerful.