Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Our Voices Raised in a Collective Woody

When the mighty foursome of Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Guy Clark and Joe Ely closed their very fine show last night with a hearty rendition of "This Land Is Your Land" it got me thinking. Here's a way to make all sorts of people happy, since Carlos Delgado, Steve Goldman of the Pinstriped Blog and me seem a pretty diverse set to make a sort.

Let's dump that seventh innning stretch singing of "God Bless America," especially if that means dumping every Irish tenor who isn't singing in a pub and hasn't bought the house a round of Jameson.

Let's sing, instead, Woody Guthrie's patriotic chestnut. And, let's get beyond the Boy Scout, what do we do after "Kumbaya" one verse version. Let's be sure to sing these two, as Hiatt and Lovett did last night:

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.

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

Take me out to that whole new ballgame. Oh, and Lyle, did you sing that verse when you performed for Bush at one of his coronation balls? Or is Texas blood thicker than humanist water?


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