America already has a new national anthem: Bruce Springsteen sings “This Land is Your Land”

Note to “60 Minutes” and “Vanity Fair”: No need for a poll. America already has a new national anthem. It’s “This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie.

Susanna, Duchess of Peace, writes:

The mainstream media is posting everywhere that America needs a new national anthem, instead of “Star Spangled Banner”. Though, America has had a new national anthem, for decades.Many people have long-considered “This Land is Your Land” to be a truer, more grassroots, alternative national anthem. It was written by Woody Guthrie in the 1940’s, and came to resounding popularity with the folk music resurgence in the 1960’s. President Obama acknowledged its importance by having Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger sing this song at the Presidential Inauguration ceremony. And, “This Land is Your Land” has become a staple in the Occupy Wall Street community. Tom Morello has sung the song at many occupy events, including the Occupy Guitarmy on May 1, 2012.

This Land is Your Land: The book

It is odd that all of the sudden, mainstream media outlets should create a poll asking who should write a new song, just when “This Land is Your Land” is gaining new prominence as an important song. Perhaps Vanity Fair is frightened of the secret verse which Tom Morello has been popularizing? Perhaps the powers-that-be don’t want Americans strumming songs about soup lines, injustice, and the right to trespass (or is that the right to occupy?)?

It is very flattering that people voted for Bruce Springsteen as someone who should write a new national anthem. Though, I hope that The Boss sticks to his guns, and underscores the importance of the song he has already been singing for America all these years. During the Born In The US Tour, September 30, 1985 in LA, CA, Bruce Springsteen stated about “This Land is Your Land”: “I’d like to do a song for you that I guess is about the greatest song ever written about America. And, it’s by Woody Guthrie. And, what’s so great about it is, it gets right to the heart of the promise of what our country was supposed to be…”

Fellow occupiers, fellow folkies, and fellow peace and justice activists: Hope you might use this moment in time to advocate for a much needed change. Maybe it is time to make it official, and declare “This Land is Your Land” the national anthem of the United States?
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(excerpt from) The Hill
Poll: Bruce Springsteen is America’s pick for new national-anthem composer
By Judy Kurtz 06/04/12

Don’t tell Francis Scott Key, but if forced to pick someone to compose a revamped national anthem, Americans want The Boss.

A poll from “60 Minutes” and Vanity Fair featured in the mag’s July issue finds that if the country were to do away with “The Star-Spangled Banner,” based on an 1814 poem by Key, 22 percent of Americans would prefer that Bruce Springsteen pen a new tune.

The “Born in the U.S.A.” singer (how appropriate) narrowly beat out legendary country crooner Dolly Parton, who garnered 19 percent of the vote…
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Some background on This Land is Your Land at WBUR Radio: here.

More video:

Clips of the Occupy Guitarmy singing “This Land is Your Land” with Tom Morello*

Some Long Island folkies play “This Land is Your Land”

Bruce Springsteen, September 1985
Comments on and performance
“This Land is Your Land”

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion
“This Land is Your Land”
at Occupy Burlington

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This Land Is Your Land
by Woody Guthrie
full lyrics from 1944

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 went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me.

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

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
A voice was chanting, As the fog was lifting,
This land was made for you and me.

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 went walking I saw a sign there
And 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.

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.

In the squares of the city, In the shadow of a steeple;
By the relief office, I’d seen my people.
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking,
Is this land made for you and me?
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*Over at Youtube, you can find lots of versions of Tom Morello singing this song with Occupy Wall Street folks. We didn’t post them all here, because he uses strong language, and this is a family-friendly site. But, the videos are great for grown-ups with righteous anger!

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