I chose This Land Is Your Land for my current Battle of the Bands. To see the contenders and vote, please click HERE.
When I created the battle, I promised to tell you more about the song. Although most of the information I'll give you comes from Wikipedia, I heard much of it in documentaries about Woody Guthrie, who wrote Land in 1940.
Guthrie didn't record Land until 1944 because he set it aside and forgot about it, according to Joe Klein, author of Woody Guthrie: A Life. It didn't come under the protection of copyright law until 1951.
After seeing the way so many people in the U.S. suffered during the depression, Guthrie felt disgusted with Irving Berlin's God Bless America, and he didn't care to hear Kate Smith singing it on the radio all the time. God Bless America didn't seem realistic.
He set out to write a song that would be an answer to God Bless America. At first, he called it God Blessed America. Then he wrote the title as This Land
He used much of the same melody as a Baptist gospel hymn that had been the basis for a song by the Carter Family. With each verse, though, he changed the melody. When he reached the final verse, the song was completely different from that of the Carters and the hymn.
I'll stop here for today because I know most people don't like to read long posts. I'll give your more information about the lyrics, and I'll try to do it tomorrow.
I'll also provide you with the song again, but not sung by a contender in my contest. This Land Is Your Land has been recorded many times.
Sing us out, please, Neil.
Infinities of love,