By Josh Richman
Monday, January 19th, 2009 at 4:51 pm in Inauguration 2009.
(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.”