Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This Land Is Your Land

The highlight of the pre-inaugural concert at the Lincoln Monument. The former blacklisted Pete joins Springsteen.
From the nycpublicschoolparents' blog
A moment to take pause and appreciate the history we are living through.
Here is the video from Sunday’s inaugural concert with Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen, performing the song that, in my opinion, should be our national anthem – “This Land is Your Land”.
The song was written by Woody Guthrie in 1940, towards the end of the Great Depression. The version on this occasion contained all its verses, including those rarely sung. They are below.

"In the squares of the city - By the shadow of the steeple
By the relief office - I saw my people
As they stood there hungry, I stood there wonderin
If this land's still 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 other 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."

Pete has a history on the lower east side. After he left Harvard in 1940 he and his brother moved to 118 E. 11th Street. From a Seeger biography, How Can I Keep from Singing?
Seeger shopped the ethnic stores and bakeries, sampling piroshki, bagels, and sour cream for the first time. He peered in Ukranian churches and Irish bars. With so much to explore, he thought he'd never tire of the city. His imagination hopped from one project to the next.

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