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Rough Draft: “This Land Is Your Land”

Woody Guthrie’s Biggest Protest Song

Written in 1940, recorded in 1944, and released in 1951, this song was originally titled ‘God Blessed America’ in response to Irving Berlin’s optimistic ‘God Bless America’. Guthrie felt the government wasn’t giving enough attention to those in need during the Depression, and that not everyone was “blessed.”

In an early draft of the song, the hook read “God Blessed America for me.” At a later time (dated Feb 23, 1940), in a different pen, “God Blessed America” and each of the hooks is scratched out, with “This Land was made for you and me” written under the original title.

(Source: Songs In The Rough interview with Nora Guthrie)

On the page is also an asterisk with the words:

“all you can write is what you

see.”

 

Woody Guthrie “This Land Is Your Land”

 

 

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