This Land is Your Land: Peace Song for 9/26/2011

“This Land is Your Land” is the Peace Song of the Day for Monday, September 26th. The song was written by Woody Guthrie.

This song has also become a favorite of the Occupy Movement. It’s been sung a lot at Occupy Wall Street in NYC (see story: here) They also sang it at Occupy Albany (see the video: here), at Occupy Burlington (see the video: here), and many other occupations.

“This Land is Your Land” has become a true folk song, with many verses. You can find extensive lyrics in the Rise Up Singing songbook, on page 5. Though, don’t hesitate to make up your own words. In the video below, Father Bill Brisotti adds one verse about unjustly pushing Native Americans on to reservations, and another verse that asserts, “This land is your land. This land is my land. It’s not the bank’s land…”

More about this choice:

Duchess Susanna has a mischievous side. And, in that spirit, she loves the secret verse, that they usually don’t tell you about in school. The secret, spunky, verse says, “As I was walking, I saw a sign there. On the sign it said, ‘No Trespassing’. But, on the other side, it didn’t say nothing…That side was made for you and me!”

Duchess Susanna thought that a sign like that might look good on Wall Street. The Duke and Duchess have learned through media reports that the Wall Street bull is not there legally. It was erected there without permission or permits.

So, maybe the folks who are currently protesting in the Financial District might take a cue from that situation, and erect their own statue. Duchess Susanna proposes a huge sign, with the words facing the bull saying, “No Trespassing”, and the back of the sign, facing outwards, with no words, only a generous, smiley face.

Maybe someday.

Here are lyrics to the song, as they appear at Arlo.net

THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND
words and music by Woody Guthrie

Chorus:
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 was made for you and me

As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
This land was made for you and me

Chorus

I’ve roamed and rambled and I’ve followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

Chorus

The sun comes shining as I was strolling
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
This land was made for you and me

Chorus

As I was walkin’  –  I saw a sign there
And that sign said – no tress passin’
But on the other side  …. it didn’t say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!

Chorus

In the squares of the city – In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office – I see my people
And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me.

Chorus (2x)

©1956 (renewed 1984), 1958 (renewed 1986) and
1970 TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)

If you love this song,  then you should get the beautifully illustrated children’s book of This Land Is Your Land with a tribute by Pete Seeger.

 

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