“This Land is Your Land” is the national anthem we actually know the words to. Americans sing it at school and summer camp; Bruce Springsteen and the late Pete Seeger sang it at President Obama’s first inauguration. Yet Woody Guthrie's song was once branded anti-American, even Communist.
Pete Seeger tells Kurt Andersen how Guthrie wrote it as a satiric response to "God Bless America," and soul singer Sharon Jones explains what the song means to her as a descendant of slaves. Leftist, environmentalist, nationalist, or patriotic — “This Land” allows everyone to sing it their way. We find out why some controversial lines about private property disappeared, and hear the song in Swedish, Hebrew, and Ojibwa.
(Originally aired October 1, 2010)
Video: Kurt Andersen visits Pete Seeger at his upstate New York home
Bonus Track: Sharon Jones on "This Land Is Your Land"
Soul singer Sharon Jones describes the special meaning the lyrics of "This Land Is Your Land" hold for her.
Bonus Track: "This Land Is Your Land," performed by Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings
The group performs its own interpretation of Guthrie's song.
Bonus Track: A Powerful Translation
Swedish folk singer Mikael Wiehe explains how translating and singing "This Land Is Your Land" inspired courage after he had received death threats from neo-Nazi groups.
This Land is Your LandArtist: Woody GuthrieAlbum: Folkways: The Original VisionLabel: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Hard TravelingArtist: Woody GuthrieAlbum: Folkways: the Original VisionLabel: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
God Bless AmericaArtist: Kate SmithAlbum: God Bless AmericaLabel: Simitar
This Land Is Your Land – LiveArtist: Pete SeegerAlbum: The Essential Pete SeegerLabel: Columbia
This Land is Your LandArtist: Sharon Jones & the Dap KingsAlbum: NaturallyLabel: Daptone Records
Det har er ditt landArtist: Mikael WieheAlbum: En Sang til ModetLabel: EMI
Song to WoodyArtist: Bob DylanAlbum: Bob DylanLabel: Columbia
ZohiartzenuArtist: The Taverners