Our ribbon of highway hit a few bumps ….
… so we roamed and rambled a road less traveled …
… from the Redwood Forest …
… to the Gulf Stream Waters … (well … almost! I’m still boycotting Florida!)
… the sun was shining …
.. and a voice came chanting …
This land was made for you and me!
And the final verse of that song which we didn’t sing in summer camp:
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.
I always thought that Woody Guthrie wrote that song during the height of the Great Depression, but wikipedia tells me no, the lyrics were written in 1940 and the song recorded in 1944. That’s at the height of the World War II, a time when we’re all trained to believe the entire nation was uniformly pro-war, pro-America, the “greatest generation” of patriots sacrificing for the cause of freedom, etc. That Guthrie would record such a cynical message in 1944 (or be allowed to record it, I should say) is amazing to me.
It’s also interesting that the song went on to become such an iconic American tune, though I concede it’s primarily the first two politically correct verses which have been seared into the national consciousness and I suspect that all came later during the ’60s folk revival, anyway.
Still, this reminds me of the distorted view of history we all have.
More travels tomorrow ….