This Land Was Made for You and Me

screen_shot_2017-02-05_at_8-25-37_pmAfter watching Lady Gaga’s halftime performance recently, I’ve been thinking about one of the opening songs she chose, and I found out some interesting facts about “This Land is Your Land.”

  1. The original lyrics were written by Woodie Guthrie, an Oklahoman, around 1944 in the wake of the Great Depression
  2. They had a good deal of frustration and criticism to offer for America

Here they are reposted from http://www.woodyguthrie.org/

This Land Is Your Land
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie

This land is your land This land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.

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

I’ve roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts;
And all around me a voice was sounding:
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting:
This land was made for you and me.

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.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

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.

To learn more about the origins of the song and its relationship to the 2017 Super Bowl, read this article.

Since its very conception, the United States has been a refuge for people who wanted to believe differently and live freely. And since the beginning, its people have spoken out against tyranny they have witnessed.

I call on you to enact or to support non-violent civil disobedience in whatever way you can.

This is my act. To post the original lyrics of a beloved patriotic song and to remind us that America has problems, problems that we must examine with open eyes if we are to move beyond them.

But you know what? America has always had problems. We have been the bad guys AND the good guys. It’s important to remember that we’re not perfect. When we see that, we can look at our choices and make new ones that better represent us.

This is the sign on our most recognizable and historical gateway:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Let’s embody what is best of America as the land of opportunity to create a new life, one free of hierarchy, tradition, and inherited privilege.

With the exception of Native Americans, every person in the U.S.A. is descended from immigrants. The nation was founded on religious tolerance, and it has always thrived through diversity. E Pluribus Unum: Out of many, one.

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