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“This Land Is Your Land”: The Story Behind America’s Best-Known Protest Song

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(via Mental Floss) BY Kenneth Partridge

Few songs are more ingrained in the American psyche than “This Land Is Your Land,” the greatest and best-known work by folk icon Woody Guthrie. For decades, it’s been a staple of kindergarten classrooms “from California to the New York island,” as the lyrics go. It’s the musical equivalent of apple pie, though the flavor varies wildly depending on who’s doing the singing.

On its most basic level, “This Land Is Your Land” is a song about inclusion and equality—the American ideal broken down into simple, eloquent language and set to a melody you memorize on first listen. The underlying message, repeated throughout the song, makes the heart swell: “This land was made for you and me.”

But there’s more to “This Land Is Your Land” than many people realize—two verses more, in fact. Guthrie’s original 1940 draft of the song contains six verses, two of which carry progressive political messages that add nuance to the song’s overt patriotism. These controversial verses are generally omitted from children’s songbooks and the like, but they speak volumes about Guthrie’s mindset when he put pen to paper 80 years ago…

Read more: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/585577/this-land-your-land-americas-best-known-protest-song

Songs You May Have Missed #664

Clannad: “Theme from Harry’s Game” (1982)

“Everything that is and was will cease to be” is the message of a song that the Irish family band was commissioned to write for an English TV miniseries that touched on the futility of political violence.

It became the first Irish-language song to chart in the UK (#5) won an Igor Novello award and featured in several Hollywood movies, including Patriot Games.

At the peak of the global success the song brought them, singer Moya Brennan related, they were asked what it was like to write a hit song. Their answer: “Oh come on, be serious, if you were trying to write a hit song would you have written it in Gaelic?”

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2016/04/27/songs-you-may-have-missed-585/

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