Thursday, July 14, 2011

stjt: happy 99th woody!

The note of hope is the only note that can help us or save us from falling to the bottom of the heap of evolution, because, largely, about all a human being is, anyway, is just a hoping machine, a working machine, and any song that says, the pleasures I have seen in all of my trouble, are the things I never can get — don't worry — the human race will sing this way as long as there is a human to race.

The human race is a pretty old place.
Woody Guthrie (14 july 1912 - 1967)
from notes about music (1940s)

today is the 99th birthday of american bard, philosopher, and the mouse's personal hero woody guthrie.

happy birthday woody!

in anticipation of the celebration of woody's 100th birthday, the guthrie family in collaboration with a whole bunch of other folks have launched a special centennial website today, fittingly the site is can be found by going to:

according to an email i received from the woody guthrie foundation, it was created to be:the
official hub for all concerts, exhibits, public programs, new releases, educational conferences, and grassroots events taking place throughout the centennial year. "From California to the New York Island," and around the world, activities are being planned now to celebrate Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday. Check it out.

i don't see anything planned in cleveland, but i expect this will change as news and awareness spreads! in fact, i plan on doing my part and encourage some local venues and organizations to jump on board the woody train!

the foundation encourages everyone to help celebrate woody's birthday by singing! today's email also included the words to perhaps woody's most famous song:

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York island
From the Redwood 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 saw 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 make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

Listen to Woody sing "This Land Is Your Land"
Words & music by Woody Guthrie | Asch Recordings: Volume 1 : This Land Is Your Land

© Copyright 1956 (renewed), 1958 (renewed), 1970 and 1972 by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. & TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)

and might i add, as woody did, the following:

This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ours, cause we don't give a darn. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do.

please bear with me as i try to plug back into the bloggyhood. thursday is share the joy day - today's tribute to woody is my joyful contribution to stjt!! i don't know about you, but for me even when woody was writing or singing about hard times, there was always a sense of hope, promise and purpose to his words and in hope and promise one can always find joy!

to see who else is sharing joy, mosey on over to meri's corner of cyberspace!

i'd like to conclude my woody tribute with one of my favorite woody songs - gonna get through this world, performed by the klezmatics.

reading between the lines from the info found on the foundation website, it appears that woody never recorded the song nor did he score it. in fact, the klezmatics' lisa gutkin set woody's words to music. woody wrote thousands of songs; unfortunately he didn't have time to set all of his songs to music - dying way, way, too young as he did. fortunately, there is continuing interest in woody's work and legacy; recently more and more artists and musicians are setting woody's words to music --the mouse would like to give a BIG shout out to billy bragg and wilco for bringing some of woody's unsung songs to light!

photo: michigan, 9 july 2011


Meri said...

Went with my dad a few years ago to a Woody exhibit at the Washington State History Museum. . . simply fascinating!

karen said...

Thanks for the Woody tribute. I'll be toddling on over to the site to check it out. Not to be a kill-joy...but I was glad to see the words to this song today...because I ain't feeling like this is our land anymore. The government has destroyed the America I once knew, and it makes me sad. Rock on Woody! Thanks mouse!

Betsy Brock said...

Very nice! Happy 99, Woody!

Roy said...

Happy Birthday, Woody!

BTW, I have no idea what "stjt" stands for. Translation please.

Noelle Clearwater said...

Who isn't a Woody Guthrie fan at some level. He is an American icon on so many levels. Great post and nice tribute!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

meri - most excellent that you were able to have a woody experience with your pa!

karen -i hear you, it is tough being hopeful in these days, but i don't know if the blame can be put solely on "the government" - i think the destroyers of america continues to rest on the interests of the corporations and the privileged class! i can go off on quite a rant if you get me going about the increasing disparities btw the classes and how it is unprecedented as far as how little tax the rich pay these days...but i'll spare you. truth be told, i'm praying for a bloodless class war - and speaking of war - our wars profit the rich, are paid for economically by the middle class and in terms of life and limb by the working and poor.... oh, yeah, i wasn't going to go on a rant!

rock on, peace on!!

betsy - ;)

roy - "stjt" = share the joy thursday

noelle - believe it or not there are people who don't know who woody is or what he stands for - in fact, just today i gave an intro to woody to a group of folks who didn't have a clue as to who woody is and what he stood for.... so i gave a 'lesson' starting with talking about the song 'this land...', which they learned (in part) in school i went on to discuss the stanza they didn't learn about the sign . joyfully, i turned eight 20-somethings who hadn't a clue into 8 20-somethings thirsting for more woody!!!

we're gonna get through....inch by inch....

Rubye Jack said...

How can you not love him. He is my hero also.