Monday, January 19, 2009

Near the Relief Office I See My People

It's wonderful to hear Pete Seeger singing Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" at yesterday's concert at the Lincoln Memorial. I got all choked up watching this, and tonight, I'll probably dream I see Joe Hill again, alive as you and me. Here are all the lyrics, including the last two gritty ones Pete sings here, from, Arlo Guthrie's web site.

It seems HBO had this removed from YouTube. You may be able to watch the video here, but I can't tell--no computer here will play that format.

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 redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
This land was made for you and me


I've roamed and rambled and I've 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


The sun comes shining as I was strolling
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
This land was made for you and me


As I was walkin'  -  I saw a sign there
And that sign said - no tress passin'
But on the other side  .... it didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!


In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office - I see my people
And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin'
If this land's still made for you and me.

Chorus (2x)

Here's a Wikipedia image showing Pete, entertaining at the opening of the Washington labor canteen, sponsored by the United Federal Labor Canteen, sponsored by the Federal Workers of American, Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). Photograph by Joseph A. Horne, February 1944. There's Eleanor Roosevelt seated between two sailors, near the center.


Granny Sue said...

after the inauguration today,I feel hopeful about this country again. Perhaps it will be a place for all once again.

Rebecca Clayton said...

Let's hope so!

TMM - Chicago, IL said...

I saw that too. I became unemployed in November and have spent the last two months in denial. Seeing them include it helped me realize that there are literally millions of people out there like me right now. I even got up off the couch (actually stayed on it) and started blogging about the whole experience...