This Land Is Your Land
About the Song
This song was written in 1940. Guthrie was reportedly sick of hearing Kate Smith sing Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" and wrote this song as a critical commentary on that song. His initial chorus was "God Blessed America for Me".
The prophetic verse about the "great high wall there" was one of Guthrie's original 1940 verses. This verse along with the ones about the sign saying "no tresspassing" and about hungry people in the city were (not surprisingly) left out of the many public school songbooks that included this song in the 1950's and 1960's.
The first Seeger video was recorded above at the Washington Monument at Barack Obama's inauguration concert. The final video was recorded at a Live Aid concert just a few months before Seeger died.