I challenge you not to smile when you watch this video! While Pete Seeger, shown in this youtube video filmed during President Obama’s inauguration, has probably performed “This Land Is Your Land” more than anyone else, the song was originally written by Woodie Guthrie, a native son of Oklahoma, in 1940. Most people don’t realize how subversive the lyrics are. One stanza often omitted from popular renditions goes:
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.
NPR did an interesting story on the origins of the song in 2000. I think it’s brilliant!