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This Land That I Love: Irving Berlin, Woody Guthrie, and the Story of Two American Anthems

John Shaw
Format
Book
Published
New York : PublicAffairs, [2013]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
ISBN
9781610392235, 161039223X, 9781610392242 (e-book), 1610392248 (e-book)
Summary
Near the end of the Great Depression and the beginning of World War II, a homeless Dust Bowl refugee named Woody Guthrie originally drafted "This Land Is Your Land" as an anthem that encompassed the tough realities of those dark times--and as a rebuttal to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America." But the song that Guthrie despised had its own complexities. Irving Berlin had risen from homelessness before becoming America's most successful songwriter, and penned his song partly in response to Hitler's rise overseas. In This Land That I Love, music-writer and composer John Shaw writes the dual biography of these beloved American songs, at the same time shedding new light on our patriotic musical heritage, from "Yankee Doodle" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" to Martin Luther King's quotation of "My Country 'Tis of Thee" on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963. Delving into the deeper history of war songs, minstrelsy, ragtime, country music, folk music, and African American spirituals, Shaw unearths a rich vein of half-forgotten patriotic and musical traditions. With the aid of new archival research, he uncovers new details about the songs' composition, including a never-before-printed verse for "This Land Is Your Land." The result is a fascinating narrative that refracts and re-envisions America's tumultuous history through the prism of two unforgettable anthems.
Contents
  • God blessed America
  • Jews without money
  • From sea to shining sea
  • Come on and hear!
  • Oklahoma hills
  • Rockets' red glare
  • An atmosphere that simply reeks with class
  • If you ain't got the do re mi
  • Storm clouds gather
  • The faith that the dark past has taught us
  • My pastures of plenty must always be free
  • Freedom's road
  • These songs were made for you and me
  • Appendix. The textual history of "This land is your land."
Description
viii, 274 pages : illustrations, facsimiles ; 25 cm
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (pages 227-236), discography (pages 219-226), and index.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic
  • Staff View

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    a| God blessed America -- Jews without money -- From sea to shining sea -- Come on and hear! -- Oklahoma hills -- Rockets' red glare -- An atmosphere that simply reeks with class -- If you ain't got the do re mi -- Storm clouds gather -- The faith that the dark past has taught us -- My pastures of plenty must always be free -- Freedom's road -- These songs were made for you and me -- Appendix. The textual history of "This land is your land."
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    a| Near the end of the Great Depression and the beginning of World War II, a homeless Dust Bowl refugee named Woody Guthrie originally drafted "This Land Is Your Land" as an anthem that encompassed the tough realities of those dark times--and as a rebuttal to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America." But the song that Guthrie despised had its own complexities. Irving Berlin had risen from homelessness before becoming America's most successful songwriter, and penned his song partly in response to Hitler's rise overseas. In This Land That I Love, music-writer and composer John Shaw writes the dual biography of these beloved American songs, at the same time shedding new light on our patriotic musical heritage, from "Yankee Doodle" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" to Martin Luther King's quotation of "My Country 'Tis of Thee" on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963. Delving into the deeper history of war songs, minstrelsy, ragtime, country music, folk music, and African American spirituals, Shaw unearths a rich vein of half-forgotten patriotic and musical traditions. With the aid of new archival research, he uncovers new details about the songs' composition, including a never-before-printed verse for "This Land Is Your Land." The result is a fascinating narrative that refracts and re-envisions America's tumultuous history through the prism of two unforgettable anthems.
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    a| Berlin, Irving, d| 1888-1989. t| God bless America.
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