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Woody Guthrie (1912 – 1967)


Prolific American folk musician, most famous for his song "This Land Is Your Land" (1940).
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Woody Guthrie
One bright sunny morning in the shadow of the steeple
By the Relief Office I saw my people
As they stood hungry, I stood there wondering if
God blessed America for me.
Guthrie quotes
When the sun came shining as I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
As the fog was lifting a voice come chanting:
This land was made for you and me.
Guthrie
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway
Nobody living can make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.




Guthrie Woody quotes
I have hoped as many hopes and dreamed so many dreams, seen them swept aside by weather, and blown away by men, washed away in my own mistakes, that I use to wonder if it wouldn't be better just to haul off and quit hoping. Just protect my own inner brain, my own mind and heart, by drawing it up into a hard knot, and not having any more hopes or dreams at all. Pull in my feelings, and call back all of my sentiments and not let any earthly event move me in either direction, either cause me to hate, to fear, to love, to care, to take sides, to argue the matter at all and, yet ... there are certain good times, and pleasures that I never can forget, no matter how much I want to, because the pleasures, and the displeasures, the good times and the bad, are really all there is to me.
And these pleasures that you cannot ever forget are the yeast that always starts working in your mind again, and it gets in your thoughts again, and in your eyes again, and then, all at once, no matter what has happened to you, you are building a brand new world again, based and built on the mistakes, the wreck, the hard luck and trouble of the old one.
Guthrie Woody
I remember the night he wrote the song "Tom Joad." He said, "Pete, do you know where I can get a typewriter?"
I said, "I'm staying with someone who has one."
"Well, I got to write a ballad," he said. "I don't usually write ballads to order, but Victor wants me to do a whole album of Dust Bowl songs, and they say they want one about Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath." ... Woody had a half-gallon jug of wine with him, sat down and started typing away. He would stand up every few seconds and test out a verse on his guitar and sit down and type some more. About one o'clock my friend and I got so sleepy we couldn't stay awake. In the morning we found Woody curled up on the floor under the table; the half gallon of wine was almost empty and the completed ballad was sitting near the typewriter.
And it is one of his masterpieces.
Woody Guthrie quotes
This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ours, cause we don't give a darn. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do.
Woody Guthrie
The note of hope is the only note that can help us or save us from falling to the bottom of the heap of evolution, because, largely, about all a human being is, anyway, is just a hoping machine, a working machine, and any song that says, the pleasures I have seen in all of my trouble, are the things I never can get don't worry the human race will sing this way as long as there is a human to race.
The human race is a pretty old place.
Guthrie Woody quotes
I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling. ... I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood.
I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.
And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you. I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind that knock you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think you've not any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I'd starve to death before I'd sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow.
Guthrie
As I go walking this ribbon of highway
I see above me the endless skyway
And all around me the wind keeps saying:
This land is made for you and me.
Guthrie Woody
Woody Guthrie was what folks who don't believe in anything would call an anomaly. Admittedly, the intersection of space and time at the corner of July 14, 1912, and Okemah, Oklahoma, was a long shot to produce anything like a national treasure.
Woody was born in one of the most desolate places in America, just in time to come of age in the worst period in our history. ... He became the living embodiment of everything a people's revolution is supposed to be about: that working people have dignity, intelligence and value above and beyond the market's demand for their labor. ... For me personally, Woody is my hero of heroes and the only person on earth that I will go to my grave regretting that I never met.
Woody Guthrie
Okemah was one of the singiest, square dancingest, drinkingest, yellingest, preachingest, walkingest, talkingest, laughingest, cryingest, shootingest, fist fightingest, bleedingest, gamblingest, gun, club and razor carryingest of our ranch towns and farm towns, because it blossomed out into one of our first Oil Boom Towns.




Woody Guthrie quotes
We must look beyond the songs to find the full importance of Woody Guthrie. As a song-maker, he has earned the stature he deserves. But his reputation as a writer, poet and philosopher is still underground and must he brought into the light. When his songs, poems, and essays are studied in our American literature classes, this omission may be righted.
Woody Guthrie
All you can write is what you see.
Guthrie quotes
Of course I remember when I was a little kid, I started writing my songs, my dad took me aside one time, and said "Arlo, you know if you can't be great, it's better to belong." I'm still thinking about that.
Guthrie Woody
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 is made for you and me.
Guthrie Woody quotes
Let me be known as just the man that told you something you already knew.
Woody Guthrie
Now they sing out his praises on every distant shore,
But so few remember what he was fightin' for.
Oh why sing the songs and forget about the aim,
He wrote them for a reason, why not sing them for the same?
And now he's bound for a glory all his own,
And now he's bound for glory.
Woody Guthrie quotes
Ever'body might be just one big soul,
Well it looks that a-way to me.
Everywhere that you look, in the day or night,
That's where I'm a-gonna be, Ma,
That's where I'm a-gonna be.
Woody Guthrie
My eyes has been my camera taking pictures of the world and my songs has been my messages that I tried to scatter across the back sides and along the steps of the fire escapes and on the window sills and through the dark halls...
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