Download Prophet Singer: The Voice And Vision of Woody Guthrie by Mark Allan Jackson PDF

By Mark Allan Jackson

This clever and punctiliously researched quantity examines the cultural and political importance of the phrases and song of Woodrow Wilson 'Woody' Guthrie - one of many best-loved folks singers of all time. "Prophet Singer" lines how Guthrie documented the heritage of America's negative and deprived via his lyrics, in addition to taking a look at how he manipulated those lyrics to discover urgent concerns and produce larger political and fiscal expertise to the typical humans. utilizing interviews, recordings, drawings and writings from Guthrie himself, this quantity provides a distinct standpoint at the artistic impulse at the back of the beliefs expressed in his tune and lyrics - that are recognized and enjoyed by way of hundreds of thousands.

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Not only songs but even more contemporary artists’ own images can and have been appropriated. During the 1984 presidential campaign, the Reagan re-election juggernaut briefly used Bruce Springsteen and his song “Born in the USA” for its own nationalistic purposes, completely ignoring the singer’s politics and misrepresenting the song’s lyrics—particularly the ironic chorus. ” He remained hospitalized, with no hope of recovery, from the mid-1950s until his death in 1967. Thus, he had little or no control over the song’s presentation or contextualization during the time period when it first began to flow into the consciousness of America.

83 The final question of the original version of “This Land” remains as relevant today as when Guthrie first put it to paper back in 1940—and just as difficult to answer. Given that Guthrie’s comments, criticisms, and questions continue to be applicable to contemporary America, then those encapsulated in the little-known protest verses of his most popular song should be brought more forcefully to the public’s attention. ” The mere act of acknowledging all of Guthrie’s verses changes “This Land” forever.

74 Simply presenting the popular version of “This Land” in certain environs could re-establish an effect similar to its original purpose and make it a powerful leftist statement of unity and pride or of environmental protectionism. ”75 Here, the refrain all at once becomes a question and a demand. More important, sung before this group and in this context, “This Land” offers an idea of revolutionary import in the 1950s: America belongs equally to black and white. Although somewhat less striking than in the last example, even the use of the song in advertisements can offer a progressive agenda.

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