Woody Guthrie was amazing. I was probably in my 30’s before I knew that the songs that I thought were ancient folks songs whose authors were lost to the mists of history were written by Woody. “This Land is Your Land,” I discovered later had subversive verses. My favorite is this one:
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.
The last verse, which is rarely if ever sung is this:
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.
During times when hope seems tenuous, the musicians and artists often create the paths that we can walk, too.
Even better than these, I came across a page of New Year resolutions from Mr. Guthrie and they delight and inspire me. Maybe they’ll do the same for you. Here they are:
I have a lot of favorites, but the last several are the very best. I may make these resolutions this year, too:
31. Love everybody
32. Make up your mind
33. Wake up and fight