This Land Is Your Land

This Land Is Your Land is the title of one of the most famous folk songs of the United States, was established in 1940 written by Woody Guthrie and Evergreen.


Woody Guthrie was one of the leading figures in American political folk movement. He wrote the original version of the song on February 23, 1940 in the cheap New York hotel Hanover House, where he wrote at night all six stanzas. The song was intended as a parody of Irving Berlin's Patriotic God Bless America in the version of Kate Smith (recorded on March 21, 1939 published in April 1939, Victor 26198, rank 10 of the U.S. charts ), is hereby incorporated intensive airplay on radio stations received been. The tune of This Land Is Your Land was inspired by Oh, My Loving Brother of Alabama Four (recorded on October 6, 1927), that of the Carter Family as When The World 's On Fire (24 May 1930) was adapted.

Guthrie went without an appointment during his leave from the Merchant Navy on April 16, 1944, music producer Moses " Moe" Asch, who owned a recording studio and later the record label Folkways Records founded. On that day, Asch took on two tracks from Guthrie. Asch had never heard of Guthrie, but was immediately impressed by him. This was followed by highly productive recording sessions on April 19, 1944 ( 63 items), on 20 April (25 items), on 24 April ( 19 items) and on 25 April (30 items). This Land Is Your Land was taken only after April 25, 1944 as a tenth of 31 item ( matrix MA 114), so a total of 160 songs were created with Moe Asch.

The song is one in six verses the extreme geographical regions between California and New York, the redwood forests and the Gulf region, glorifies the landscapes and stylized traveling as a quasi- religious experience. Although Guthrie hereby never reached the charts, he was all the rage and created an evergreen. Guthrie had his six stanzas comprehensive composition first provided with the title God Blessed America For Me, but has his concept during the recording session already entitled This Land Was Made For You And Me to; in the studio recordings of Asch then stood This Land is My Land. This version was only discovered in 1997 and put on CD. A Stinson Records metal master comes on 19 May 1944.

Publication and success

Guthrie's first shot of This Land Is Your Land initially remained unpublished. Simultaneously with the copyright registration, the original notes were in the booklet "Ten Twenty-Five Cent Songs by Woodie Guthrie " on April 3, 1945 the market. The song was also later rather spread over music books than records. The radio station WNYC beamed between December 1944 and 14 February 1945 from a 15 minute radio program " Folk Songs by Woody Guthrie " in several episodes, the title ran as a signature tune.

The 3- strophige Standard Version published in 1948 for the first time on record, on the LP Work Songs To Grow On ( Folkways Records 7027 ). On January 7, 1952, was a remake of the already very sick Guthrie for Decca Records, produced by Milt Gabler. The recording was not published until 1996. According to BMI for Guthrie 841 titles are registered copyright.

Cover versions

At least 39 cover versions are known. Was covered the song in particular by many in the folk -based performers. First it was apparent Paul Clayton ( March 1960 ), followed by Kingston Trio (June 1961), Flatt & Scruggs ( August 1962 ). The New Christy Minstrels reached rank 93 U.S. Pophitparade ( December 1962 ), Ketty Lester Rank 97 ( December 1962 ). This was followed in particular Peter, Paul and Mary ( January 1963 ), Harry Belafonte (May 1963), Trini Lopez (July 1963) or Glen Campbell ( October 1963 ).

In Europe, it took over the local language versions. Dalida brought the title Ce coin de terre ( " This piece of land "; French text by Pierre Cour, January 1964 ) on the market. In Germany in 1964 titled The Country Four with this land is your land relative to Germany. With another text Hartmut, Sigrun and Knut Kiesewetter came in 1964 on the market, which parodied Günter Tilgert Choir with Each specifies as best he can (1963).

Other English versions came afterwards by The Seekers (June 1965), Wanda Jackson (July 1969), Tennessee Ernie Ford ( February 1970 ), Bruce Springsteen ( November 1986) and Bob Dylan ( live version from May 1, 1961 August 2005).

Public Domain

On 9 July 2004, two film animators published under the name of JibJab Media on the Internet a very successful short film entitled This Land, in which they used as background music This Land Is Your Land. The short film mocked the presidential candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry and has been presented in several U.S. talk shows. The the work of This Land Is Your Land Associate Musikverlag Ludlow Music pointed JibJab Media on July 20, 2004 in the existing copyright protection back and banned as part of a declaration of a further release of the film with the music. On July 23, 2004 JibJab responded with the assertion that This Land Is Your Land is in the public domain, and if not, this constitutes a lawful reproduction under the fair use doctrine. On 29 July 2004 Ludlow by JibJab has been sued in the United States District Court For The Northern District of California in San Francisco, the parties agreed to put in an out of court settlement. JibJab therefore pays 20 % of its net revenue from film distribution to the Woody Guthrie Foundation and allowed for use on the film.

The copyright ( Seal of Copyright # 154 085 ) Running time began with music publication in 1945, so after then U.S. law after 28 years the Public Domain in 1973 began. A Public Domain hindering the copyright extension would have to be made until 1973, however, took place only in 1984., The fair use was not an option because satire of U.S. courts has not been recognized as fair use basic.

Unlike in the U.S., the song is still under copyright in Germany, since the rule protection period until 70 years after the composer's death ends ( § 64 German Copyright Act), who died in 1967. Here, then, establish the rule protection period of not to the release date, but the date of death of the author. This also applies throughout the European Union and Switzerland.


This Land Is Your Land was never yet has a large charts or sales success, today a large degree of popularity and is an integral part of American culture. He is revered by many as a second national anthem, and is sung in schools, from church choirs or age across the radio. On March 13, 1975, it was simultaneously sung by millions of school children during the first annual " Music in Our Schools Day" and since then is one of the typical songs that are sung on Independence Day or other national occasions. It was used as a campaign song of the presidential election in the United States in 1988. The song is ranked 3 in the list of Songs of the Century of the RIAA since 2001.