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"This Land is Your Land" is probably the best-known song written by Woody Guthrie. Recently, the song has become something of a patriotic anthem. But it's important to remember that Guthrie was a union organizer, and the song would have originally been performed in labor union halls and at rallies for migrant farm workers. In that context, the song is a radical call for the lower classes in American society to take back their country. Here are the lyrics of this version, which was recorded by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress in March, 1940.

This land is your land
And this land is my land
From California
To the New York Island,
From the redwood forests
To the gulfstream waters,
This land was made for you and me.

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

I roamed and rambled
And I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of
Her diamond deserts.
All around me
A voice was sounding,
'This land was made for you and me.'

When the sun come shining
Then I was stolling
And the wheat fields waving
And the dust clouds rolling.
The voice was chanting
As the fog was lifting,
'This land was made for you and me.'

[Reprise first and last verses.]

Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land"

   

Other Excerpts from Dust Bowl Descent Interviews:

Darrel Coble & Lois Houle
Florence Thompson Migrant Mother
Nettie Featherston, "If You Die…"
Lois Houle on "Relief"
William Huravitch & Chewing Tobacco
Vern Evans, Oregon or Bust
Walter Ballard, Riding the Rails
Walter Ballard, Tractored Out
Fritz Fredrick Growing Wheat
Madge May on the FSA
Harvey Taft, FSA Farmsteads
May Ross Lincoln, School Programs