This Land Is Your Land
01. This Land is Your Land
(Woody Guthrie/TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc., BMI)

Track 1 – This Land Is Your Land (MASTER MA 114)
Scornful of the earnest, cloying sentiment of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America,” a huge hit for Kate Smith in the bitter winter of 1940, Guthrie apparently wrote his six-stanza response in one sitting, alternating between guitar and pen. For a tune he borrowed the Carter Family’s melody for “Little Darling, Pal of Mine,” itself adapted from a Southern gospel hymn, “Oh,My Loving Brother.” Originally titling the song “God Blessed America,” Guthrie scratched that out in favor of “This Land Was Made for You and Me.” (He also scratched out a pessimistic last verse.) It was a blacklisted Pete Seeger, singing for liberal organizations, schools, and church groups during the 1950s and 1960s, who popularized what has become the United States’ unofficial national anthem.

Woody sings and plays solo.