Happy Fourth of July


You know, I sang Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” countless times in elementary school, but I’m quite sure we never sang the last three verses. On this Independence Day, as many state politicians seek to sell off public property, discourage public education, and generally devalue the very notion of a public sector, here’s the whole gall-darn beautiful song-

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

3 thoughts on “Happy Fourth of July

  1. It is interesting they decided to cut the best, and most controversial, part out. I tried youtubing a version with all the verses in it and I could not find it.
    As for the politicians, it seems they like to learn the hard way.

  2. I also couldn’t find a version on youtube that included all the verses, but this one from Sharon Jones (apparently on tour in France) comes close, and I’m betting Guthrie would be thrilled by the rendition-


  3. Thanks, I will check it out. I may be in Oshkosh sometime between the dates of August 2nd and 9th, let me know if you want to meet up. I would love to tell you about Europe. Did you end up doing the study abroad trip to the UK in spring?

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