Sunday, November 15, 2015

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: WOODY GUTHRIE V. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time for the November 15, 2015, Battle of the Bands.

Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy provides us with this information about the bloghop:

The whole thing is really quite simple: You select two different versions of the same song (versions  you feel might give each other some competition in the voting) and you post them on the 1st and the 15th of each month. On the 7th and 21st of each month, you add your own personal vote to the mix, total up all the votes and announce the winner on your blog.

Beyond that, just try to have fun with it and let your readers/voters have fun with it.


All righty, then. Let's have fun! Our song is This Land Is Your Land.



I think pretty much everybody in the U.S. grew up singing this song in school. We thought it was a patriotic song, and even if you know the story behind the song and the verses that are left out when children sing it, then maybe you'll still feel it's a patriotic song. I do because I believe in freedom of speech, and I truly believe this land wasn't made for me alone. I'm no better than anybody else. We are all sinners in the eyes of God, and we can all gain His love and forgiveness simply by asking Him for it.

Or if you believe in something else, that's up to you, as long as you don't use what you believe to hurt anyone.

Woody Guthrie wrote This Land Is Your Land in 1940. It's partly about experiencing the Dust Bowl during The Great Depression. He tended to change it up when he sang it, so the verses varied during performances. I hope I have time this week to tell you more about the song.

Here's our first BOTB contender, Woody Guthrie:




Here's our second BOTB contender, Bruce Springsteen:




Please vote in your comment for your preferred version of the song. Do you favor Woody Guthrie's straightforward singing of his own work, or are you partial to Bruce Springsteen's rendering of the song? Tell us the reason for your decision, too.

Normally, I wouldn't put up any singer against Woody Guthrie, but I know Bruce Springsteen has many die-hard fans so he has a good chance at earning your vote.

I'll announce the winner on Nov. 21.

I hope you'll visit other participants in The Battle of the Bands. You can find the complete list below.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


56 comments:

  1. Janie-poo, you'll get a big plare o' brownie points from me. There's very few artists who could stand up to Woody Guthrie. He is an American treasure.

    But Bruce isn't called the Boss for nothing! I have to throw my vote on Springsteen. Whether it's an act or not, the guy seems to put so much genuine emotion into his performances and this is no exception.

    BRRRUUUUUUUCCCCCCCEEEEEEE!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remember singing this in school. This song was all over the place when I was growing up in the early 60's.

    There was something about Woody's intonation--the way he sang some of the words--that was weird to me. That pretty well set up my vote for Bruce.

    But then...After his interminable dumb introduction he drug the song into dirgelike proportions. Nope, not boring Bruce.

    Give my vote to Woody Sanders--I mean, Guthrie.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
  3. Janie ~ tough choice for me but I liked Guthrie's straight shot!!

    Great song choice - have fun!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yep, i was tawt this song to when I was in skool. But i din't pay much atension to nothing in skool.

    I used to be a huge Springsteen fan, but that was then and this is now. It's pretty funny that Springsteen thinks he has any clue "what our country was supposed to be about". I was reading and studying all about that while he was playing Rock music to sold-out coliseums (and selling himself out at the same time).

    Anyway, I vote for the original by "WOODY And Dutch On The Slow Train To Peking", rather than that off-key funeral dirge by Booooo Springsteen.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can try to get a little more eduficationing.

      Delete
  5. I've never voted in a Battle, but here I will. Woodie is part of a social movement that was my childhood. I learned from my father, who was no fan of Guthrie politics, that what McCarthy did did to social activests was its own evil. That was a big concept for an eight year old and served me well. Springsteen is a master, but a fellow artist suffered for that song. I vote for Woodie.
    "And on this side it said Keep off the grass", but on the other side it didn't say nothin'. This land was made for you and me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You had a good dad, Joanne. Thanks for making my battle your first vote.

      Delete
  6. The left and the lefter, or the right hand that doesn't know what the left is doing. Ah, don't mind me, or get yer panties in a bunch over this comment. I just came from Cherdo's and I ain't quite over the emotional upheaval there.

    Give my vote to Woody, at least he was an original.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure what your comment is about, but Woody gets your vote.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, "Goodnight Saigon" is pretty emotional. I'm doing a soul tune next time, lol.

      Delete
  7. I prefer Woody Guthrie's version.
    ALTHOUGH, Bruce had an OUTSTANDING lead-in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed Bruce at least at the beginning, Penwusser.

      Delete
  8. Woody gets my vote on this one. Bruce's version was too slow for my taste. Although I like his voice. And love the harmonica. But for sentimental reasons, I'm going with Guthrie today.
    Michele at Angels Bark

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think Bruce was right when he said, "It's easy to let the best of you slip away." He get's my vote because I always feel I need to take the time to listen to his voice, whether the song is slow or not. He always sounds real. I believe him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have an interesting perspective, Blue.

      Delete
  10. My honey is playing along today... I go for Woody (brings back great memories), but he goes for Bruce. Does that make one vote each, or a nullified vote? ;)

    Great battle, Janie!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can each have a vote. Bruce needs more. I thought this battle would be closer because a lot of people love Springsteen the way the love Journey with Steve Perry.

      Delete
    2. ...and by a lot of people, she means "Cherdo won't shut up about Bruce and Steve."

      Delete
    3. No, you're not, Cherdo... I love Steve too. And I really, really do love Bruce. But this one... I'm sorry. I just couldn't :D

      Delete
  11. I vote for Woodie Guthrie, the father of Arlo Guthrie and the man who influenced Bob Dylan in his early days. I like Springsteen but his slow version just sounds too much like he's trying to over-personalize it. I like the sing-song version of Guthrie's, that's how much of the folk music was intended to be. Many sang this song (Baez, and other folkies)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joan Baez was one of the people I considered as a contender.

      Delete
  12. I had no idea Guthrie wrote that until I saw it over at Shady's.
    How are you, Janie?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm in my office, and I have my pups around me. That's how I am.

      Delete
  13. I love this song and I must give it to Woody. He just simply sang the song and didn't make it a big hallabaloo about it like Bruce did. Woody was simple, straightforward and eloquent-he gets my vote

    ReplyDelete
  14. I like Springsteen well enough, but Woody is a true cultural icon. I abstain.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I do like patriotic songs, and while I'm agnostic, the terms God and Faith do not offend me when I think of the values and ethics this country was built on. And no, a Confederate flag does not fill me with terror.

    Bruce is a fantastic singer, and I love his homespun voice, and patriotism. But he sings this song too slow. Guthrie gives it a bit of bounce, a wanderer exploring the nation, its beauty and bounty. A guitar picking, proper campfire song.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Janie, I do remember singing this song in school. I don't know that I ever thought of it as a patriotic song, but I always thought it referenced the writer's love for this country. I hope to read more about the lyrics in an upcoming post. Now to cast my vote. I'm giving Guthrie my vote because this tune deserves that little flavor of country he adds to it and like Donnie say it has "a bit of bounce, a wanderer exploring the nation" that totally suits the words perfectly. Interesting, fun battle. Nice job done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope to have the post for you tomorrow with more information about the song.

      Delete
  17. I appreciate that Bruce is singing this song his way. If you're going to do a cover, do it your way.

    However the question was do I favor the folk style of Woody Guthrie or am I partial to Springsteen's rendering? The answer is I like folk music, so I prefer Woody's straightforward delivery.

    Interesting battle! Same song, very different sound:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bruce overdoes it, but I thought he'd get more votes because so many people--I'm not one of them--are crazy about him.

      Delete
  18. Well Bruce is my era, and he was my first rock star crush, so the Boss gets my vote!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bruce told me he spotted you in a crowd, and he's never forgotten you. He thinks you are the bee's knees.

      Delete
  19. I do not prefer folk music to rock, however I just didn't like Springsteen's rendition. I kind of agree with the commenter way back that it feels like a dirge. I vote Woody

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you see that, Woody? Look. Look down this way. There you go. You have another vote.

      Delete
  20. We're both Woody Guthrie fans, so I don't think I have to tell you who we vote for. But in case we do have to tell you... we both vote Woody.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Janie, you have put so much work into this one. But I'm sticking with Woody Guthrie...giving credit to the song writer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That suits me. Don't tell Cherdo, but I don't care for Springsteen.

      Delete
  22. Actually, I don't remember singing this a school. We just did the pledge of allegiance. I do recall being taught this song in sunday school, though. Weird. Whatever!

    My vote: Woody!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't think of it as a Sunday School song, and I taught Sunday School for 25 years.

      Delete
  23. I am a Springstein fan, but I don't think you can vote for anything but the originator of this song. Additionally, I didn't like Sprinsteins version of it. It was slow, uninspiring and frankly, boring. Sorry. Please place my vote for Woody Guthrie. His performance was the best by far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No reason to be sorry. I prefer Woody, too.

      Delete
  24. I hope this doesn't get me Banded In Boston but I didn't like Woody or Bruce.
    Love reading all the reasons people have for their choices.
    So many comentors on these Battle of the Bands are true music people.
    People. like you and Cherdo to name two, know so much about singers, bands, writers and history. I hear a song and I like or not.
    I have heard this song so much in the wonder years of the 60's that I am done with it.
    Plus I think this land is not for me. Especially living where I do.
    Bruces intro went on for over a minute and then his take on the song was a dirge,.
    Woody is a bit to twangy but it is his song......
    It was super close almost tossed a coin but I voted for Woody.
    You asked for my reasons.

    cheers, parsnip



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The most important thing to me in the battle is if the song is interesting in some way, and if the singers are interesting, it's icing on the cake. Sometimes I like the song and sometimes I don't. I don't know that I would call myself a true music person. I'm not that knowledgeable. I have to look up a lot of information, and I have assistance from a family member. I understand the feeling that this land is not for you. The intention of Woody's original lyrics was to say that this land should be for all of us, but it's not. And the gap between the haves and the have nots gets bigger all the time. Thanks for your comment. I like knowing how you feel.

      Delete
  25. I think my vote may have been colored by you subsequent post that exposed me to what a badass Woodie Guthrie is, a proto-punk. I'll be conservative with all of my votes and simply give one of my many votes to Guthrie.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm not a Bruce Springsteen fan, and this performance is an example of why I'm not. Not a fan of the song, either; I've heard too many bad versions of it. Guthrie gets my vote by default.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I vote for Woody Guthrie! The Boss won't mind losing to him -- it's an honour!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I was so drifty sick--thought I had voted. I have to join the majority it looks like and vote for Woody. But I would have liked to hear all the original words. Without them it is like missing the punch line, you know? The song was white-washed by America. There is a strange kind of humor in that. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Janie - I thought I was going for Bruce - but no I'll stick with Woody ... great song to remind us about ... if we need remembering .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete

Got your panties in a bunch? Dig 'em out, get comfortable, and let's chat.