Aug 26, 2010 - Issue 390
Click here to go to the Home Page
is published every Thursday
Est. April 5, 2002
Click to go to the Subscriber Log In Page
Click here to go to a menu of the Contents of this Issue
Click to visit our Google powered search page
Click to visit the Friends of BC page
Click to vist the Cartoons page
Click to visit the Art page
Click to visit the Links page
Click to visit the Advertise With Us page
Woody Guthrie Canvas Print
By Shepard Fairey, Los Angeles CA
F11 key for full screen view
Click to go to a Printer Friendly version of this article

This print reflects the format of the Woody Guthrie painting it is based upon. The print is on18x24 paper and will be signed and numbered just below the bottom border of the printed area… allowing the purchaser to choose between a standard(more affordable) 18×24 frame, or trimming the excess paper below the signature and custom framing the print. Cropping the image to more closely suit the 18×24 proportion compromised the composition.

Woody Guthrie (1912-1967) was an American folk singer and songwriter best known for the song “This Land Is Your Land” frequently sung in American schools. Though the song is used patriotically, it was originally intended as as a “power to the people” themed anthem, and had its more controversial verses edited out. Full original lyrics below. Guthrie grew up in Oklahoma during the dust bowl and the depression which gave him empathy toward farmers and working class people in general. Guthrie was given the nickname “The Dust Bowl Troubadour” and wrote many songs championing workers, unions, outlaws, farmers, and the downtrodden. When Woody performed he often had the slogan “This Machine Kills Fascists” emblazoned across his guitar. If Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” was the literary embodiment off the struggles of the era, Guthrie’s songs were the musical equivalent. Guthrie was blacklisted during the McCarthy era for his left leaning views. Woody Guthrie’s influence can be felt in the tradition of social justice in music ranging from Pete Seeger, to Johnny Cash, to Bob Dylan, to Jimi Hendrix, to Neil Young, to Joe Strummer(who’s original nickname was Woody”). In my MAYDAY art show, Guthrie was an essential inclusion for his tremendous influence on so many of my favorite musicians who have combined entertainment and social commentary. Proceeds from this print go to the Woody Guthrie Foundation. The painting and print are based on a photograph by Sid Grossman.


Woody Guthrie’s original lyrics to “This Land is Your Land”:
stanzas 4, 5, and 6 are usually censored out, but are essential
to conveying the full meaning of Woody’s song.

This Land Is Your Land

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream water
This land was made for you and me

As I was walkin’, that ribbon of highway
I saw above me, that endless skyway
I saw below me, that golden valley
I said this land was made for you and me

I’ve roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sand of her diamond desert
And all around me, a voice was sounding:
This land was made for you and me

Down in the city, in the shadow of the steeple
By the relief office, I saw my people
As they stood there hungry I stood there whistling:
This land was made for you and me

As I went walking, I saw a sign there
And on that sign it said “Private Property”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothin’
That side was made for you and me !

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway
Nobody living can make me turn back, cuz
This land was made for you and me

The sun came shining, and I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
As the fog was lifting, a voice was chanting:
This land was made for you and me

– Woody Guthrie

Shepard Fairey is a contemporary artist, graphic designer, and illustrator. He first became known for his "André the Giant Has a Posse" sticker campaign, in which he appropriated images from the comedic super market tabloid Weekly World News. His work became more widely known in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, specifically his Barack Obama "HOPE" poster. The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston calls him one of today's best known and most influential street artists. His work is included in the collections at The Smithsonian, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Click here to contact Mr. Fairey. 
Click to go to a Printer Friendly version of this article

If you would like to comment on this cartoon, please do so below. There is a 400 character limit. You do not need a FaceBook account. Your comment will be posted here on BC instantly. Thanks.

Entering your email address is not mandatory. You may also choose to enter only your first name and your location.


e-Mail re-print notice
If you send us an emaill message we may publish all or part of it, unless you tell us it is not for publication. You may also request that we withhold your name.

Thank you very much for your readership.




Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble
Road Scholar - the world leader in educational travel for adults. Top ten travel destinations for African-Americans. Fascinating history, welcoming locals, astounding sights, hidden gems, mouth-watering food or all of the above - our list of the world’s top ten "must-see" learning destinations for African-Americans has a little something for everyone.