A song for our times: Arlo and Pete sing Woody

In the late 1960s and the 1970s, conservatives made big displays of singing this song.  The Mormon Tabernacle Choir recorded one very popular version of it; it showed up often.  In those occasional complaints about the difficulty of singing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” this song’s suitability for national anthem status was always raised.

Today?  I haven’t heard it at a Republican gathering in long, long time.  I’m not saying that it’s completely disappeared from the conservative song book — among other things, I don’t attend Republican conventions as often as I once did, but I don’t think I’d hear it if I did.  I am saying that people finally started listening to the song, and it’s been largely dropped from conservative sing alongs for political reasons.

And that tells us a lot.

It would be good to hear this song a lot more; it would be good if more people sang it.

Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger leading the congregation in singing Woody Guthrie’s “The Land Is Your Land,” from a 1993 concert at Wolf Trap Farm Park in Virginia (one of my favorite venues for any music):

(Arlo’s got a new release this year, featuring this tune.)


5 Responses to A song for our times: Arlo and Pete sing Woody

  1. […] “A song for our times:  Pete and Arlo sing Woody (Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub) […]


  2. Ed Darrell says:

    Here you go, Mrs. Cornelius (I erred — the song is titled “Paradise” after the late town by that name drowned by the Peabody Coal Company):


  3. Ellie says:

    I can’t sing anymore — at least not in public where anyone can hear me, but this liberal never stopped singing this song — with the usually unsung verses.

    For the past couple of years, I’ve also been singing Banks of Marble by Les Rice.


  4. Ed Darrell says:

    That was why liberals stopped singing the song in the 1970s. They’ve taken the song back. Maybe they recognize the hopeful and even revolutionary spirit in the song.

    Maybe we’re taking back Our Land, too. That would explain the crabbiness of Mitch McConnell, Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party.

    (Was there an old John Prine performance on Mountain Stage in the last month? I heard a live performance of his singing “Muhlenberg County” on the radio recently . . . Good one, indeed.)


  5. Well, since Reagan, this land hasn’t been our land. It’s been Peabody Coal’s land (ooh, John Prine- another good one!), and Exxon’s land, and even BP’s land.


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