If you thought Lady Gaga’s halftime show was apolitical, consider the origin of ‘This Land is Your Land’

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tags: Woody Guthrie, This Land is Your Land



What many of the commentators may have missed, though, was that Gaga’s decision to sing “This Land Is Your Land” may have been an inherently political statement.

Though many consider the song to be an unblinkingly patriotic anthem — the American flag set-to-music — it was originally conceived as a sarcastic protest song by legendary folk singer and labor agitator Woody Guthrie.

By the 1940s, Guthrie was sick of hearing Kate Smith singing Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” (ironically, the song Gaga opened her set on before slipping in a couplet from “This Land is Your Land.”)

While holed up in a fleabag hotel in New York City during a marathon writing session in 1940 during which he penned “Hangknot Slipknot,” “The Government Road” and “Dirty Overalls,” Guthrie kept hearing the Kate Smith hit on the radio.

In an irritated fit, he wrote the words for a response song he sarcastically titled, “God Blessed America for Me,” according to NPR. Each verse also ended with this line.

It wasn’t seemingly meant as a love song to his country.




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