Monday, March 30, 2015

Censored Verses

As a P. S. to yesterday's Woody/Seeger concert:
If I was hearing right, one singer appeared to have unfamiliar verses in This Land is Your Land. I did catch one line "...on the back side, it didn't say nothing" -- followed by a smattering of applause and laughter from people in the audience who had better hearing aids than I do.  So today I googled the phrase and found original verses that record companies omitted in the days of the Commie Scare and the Cold War:
One bright sunny morning in the shadow of the steeple
By the Relief Office I saw my people —
As they stood hungry, I stood there wondering if
This land was made for you and me
Was a high wall there that tried to stop me
A sign was painted said: Private Property,
But on the back side it didn't say nothing —
That side was made for you and me.

Another P. S.:  Some years ago I tuned in to the CBC -- used to pick up Toronto nicely in the car -- and came in on the last few minutes of a program that was bewailing the US influence on Canadian Culture.  Even our movies copy them,  the host complained.  And then there's all that pop music from the States ...etc. etc.  And then the program ended with his usual theme song:
This land is your land, this land is my land.
From Bonavista to Vancouver Island
From the Arctic Circle to the Great Lake waters
                                                             This land was made for you and me.

1 comment:

  1. When I took Miri to music classes another mother in the class told me that her uncle had written "This Land is Your Land". I told her that I was pretty sure that Woody Guthrie had written it. But maybe she was talking about the Canadian version, and maybe her uncle DID write it? CMS