The tale of America is rich and full of the lives of individuals who have given it character and legacy that encompass community. No matter who you are, the land is sprinkled with hope and opportunity.
The song This Land is Your Land lyrics capture a certain essence of the magic and hope of America. Written as a counter to God Bless America, this song original title was God Blessed America. These folksy lyrics are well known today, but few know the back story. Who wrote them, what was their inspiration?
Now in This Land is Your Land: Woody Guthrie and the Journey of American Folksong, author Robert Santelli has written a rich bold book to fill in the details. It chronicles not only the life of Woody Guthrie, it also touches on a period of American history.
Santelli has taken an odyssey to chronicle Woody Guthrie's life, he is currently the executive director of the Grammy Museum, and co-Chairman of "Woody at 100".
As we enter the centennial celebration of Woody Guthrie, this book delves back to that fateful day in February 23, 1940, when Guthrie in a fleabag hotel on 43rd Street in New York City wrote this song.
Guthrie was not an extraordinary individual, he was just a man who was full of hope and optimism and did what he loved, chronicled his life in verse.
I was surprised by the many unrelated facts of folk music. How it was considered subversive and Guthrie was marked as a community. How this song has influenced so many artist, singers, and even presidents. Even after so many years this song is relevant and President Obama used the song to kick off his historic inauguration.
The book is beautifully done, looks more like a coffee table book than a traditional biography and is a fitting addition to any library.