Another selection from the Sixties for today: “This Land is Your Land” was–perhaps to the shock of anybody under 30–something we sang in school assemblies when I was a primary school student in the 60s and 70s in the U.S. Its communal feel matched the spirit of the time, and although I can’t remember whether we sang the verses about private property and hunger, it wouldn’t have been out of place if we had. I hope kids are still singing it in school today.
The Wikipedia article about the song is worth checking out and opens with the info that Woody Guthrie’s inspiration to write “This Land” in 1940 was a result of his impatience with hearing Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” belted out by Kate Smith over and over on the radio. The original manuscript shows an interesting progression in the text. He originally included the line “God Blessed America,” but this eventually became, “This land was made for you and me.”
I don’t know when or how we acquired this particular piece of sheet music. The design feels like the music, and takes me back to that era in an instant.