The "subversive" verses from Woody Guthrie's This Land is Your Land were sung by the American people today on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
"This Land is Your Land" in front of the Lincoln memorial.
January 18, 2009. by scarlatti2004 on flickr.com
One of our great national anthems has been restored.
(An subtle protest by Pete Seeger, an octogenarian hero of the social justice movement, against conservative powers who want to keep American workers ignorant of their own history.)
Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen restored the song to its former glory, not the sanitized version so many of us learned at public school and summer camp.
I have the feeling Pete said, "Sure, I'll come sing This Land is Your Land, but only if you let us do the original version which was both patriotic and a call for economic justice."
Here are the original verses added back into the song today.
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?
There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me;
Sign was painted, it said private property;
But on the back side it didn't say nothing;
That side was 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.