Tag Archives: woody guthrie


I got a $100 nylon string guitar for Christmas at age 11. Dad taught me A, C, D, E, G. I had quit five years of violin but was still taking piano lessons that would stop soon due to a bad teacher.

Then I got a band and we actually performed. My two girlfriends were clueless and tone deaf and when I tried to sing harmony they followed me. Disaster.

Apologies are due to CSNY for Teach Your Children, PPM for Day is Done, and the Kingston Trio for their version of the folk classic, 500 Miles.

Now I have a Seagull Artist Mosaic Folk acoustic guitar that I hydrate and do not play. I think I’m afraid of hurting those above and others. At first in private lessons I overreached, learning B7 the first week. I was learning twinkle, twinkle little star at the time. Yes, and I now use slinky strings made by Ernie Ball. Sadly he’s gone but his son was my neighbor. No, I did not get the strings for free.

I created a music library and learned about Johnny Cash, more Dylan. I sing and just come up with the chords. Often I just download lyrics and make it up. There is no artistry to it, just what was musically given (like golf, my father hates that I have perfect pitch but knows he brought the game) and the desire to create, not perform yet.

The lyrics challenge is like a food challenge. I used to have a mystery box arrive at my door every week and figure out what to cook with anything that was in it. That was a challenge, especially in winter in the Rockies.

So it’s bye bye Miss American Pie, took the Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry….

I prefer This Land Is Your Land….this land was made for you and me. Dee


Dear Mr. Cruz,

Let’s add Mr. Boehner. Thank you for shutting down our government because you don’t want the government to work or to have senior citizens or anyone with pre-existing conditions to live.

Dear Mr. Boehner, your house has run amok and you’ve let it do so. If you plan on winning elections next year and the presidency in 2016 think again. You have p**sed off so many voters next year will be a rout. And they’ll have me watching over our people. Woody Guthrie would have said this land is your land, this land is my land, from California to the New York island….

You were just railroaded by 80 of your people and hundreds of thousands of people with families are out of work with no pay. Is that really what Republicans want?

This representative democracy is not about you, it’s about us, the people who elect you to represent our interests and pay your salaries. If one citizen cannot get a Social Security check and another cannot buy a stamp what kind of country are we? One that gets into wars as the international arbiter? If you don’t want to take care of us, why are we bailing out banks, mortgage and insurance companies and having a ten-year war against… what?

Remember Newt. He tried to shut down the government and failed spectacularly.

Please try to be of sound mind and do something right. I am a citizen who is losing my health insurance and social security, Thanks, Dee


This post is named Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land. Also A Home-Cooked Meal.

I asked around and sought comments for what a man, my gentleman husband, would like after being on the road for two weeks. There were several suggestions of steak or meat loaf. I’ve gone veggie for two weeks and feel great!

In the end I chose homemade meatballs with spaghetti and sauce. He’ll walk into our front door any moment now and be home for a quiet weekend but it will start out with my meatballs with parmigiano reggiano and my sauce. you don’t really think I’m going to give the sauce recipe (I don’t have one)  to you with like 25 posts before I retire! Good because I make it differently every time.

He got in 12 minutes early so I’ll take the dog out and am already prepped to make dinner as airlines don’t even bother to toss peanuts to passengers anymore. Enjoy the weekend! Dee

Pasta with Chicken and Sausage

Years ago I found a recipe for chicken and sausage in a tomato sauce with pasta, by Frank Sinatra. I remember it had a ton of olive oil in it. Unable to find that recipe now, I’d like to create a healthier version of it. Yes, olive oil is good for you but I think it had about a cup and a half in it and that’s insane, especially when cooking for two.

As a child I was in love with Frank Sinatra. My father was a violinist and we listened to “records” all the time. My favorite was and still is Come Fly With Me, and Isle of Capri as a single. They took me to see him at Carnegie Hall as a birthday gift, before the Chairman of the Board died.

Music was always a part of my life. My parents told me that as a baby, if I was crying and couldn’t sleep they’d play Jackie Gleason’s Music, Martinis and Memories. If that didn’t work they’d drive around the block and I’d be conked out. It’s interesting to see that Amazon and others still have the album/cd.

I was trying to remember someone’s name the other day and associated it with my grade school music teacher who often had us sing The Happy Wanderer. Yes, we’re still in touch and you have her recipe for Concord Grape Pie.

Things took a turn for the worse in high school when I started listening to old Beatles songs, Dave Mason, Fleetwood Mac, Joan Baez and of course, Dylan.

To her dying day (nearly five years ago) my mother said I liked dirges. A beginner folk guitarist, yesterday I worked my way through Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land. Successful, but I don’t think it’s really our land anymore.

I like to get lyrics and work my way through a song. It’s an exercise, as is finding out Frank’s chicken and sausage recipe.

This land is NSA land, this land is TSA land, from California to the New York Island….. Dee


The sun gets me up really early in the morning. I just took the dog out and have been up four hours. Epiphany! It comes, courtesy of an idea from Slate.

It comes from two songs that differentiated our nation. It’s Irving Berlin’s God Bless America vs Woody Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land.

God Bless America is a wonderful song, and I love Irving Berlin for his many contributions to the American scene, but the republican party has commandeered it to show that only God can rule America and we have to stick to the Old Testament in its most heinous ways. I believe the composer would be shocked and disturbed at this use of his song as he was a Jew and immigrant and as such did not live a charmed life.

Woody, on the other hand, when it came down to brass tacks composed This Land Is Your Land about our nation, its natural wonders and asks whether this land is really made for you and me. Written post-war, WWII, I believe he foresaw what was to come in the late 60’s. He already knew about alienation from society.

This past week we’re given a blow on Voting Rights and a win for allowing people who love each other to marry. This is not the old Hollywood studios making Rock Hudson marry because he was gay and had to be a hunk to be in the movies. This is real life.

On our national anniversary, July 4th I do like to hear a recording of Kate Smith singing Berlin’s song. My heart, however, goes out to Woody and Arlo and what their music has brought to this nation of ours.

I did take up the guitar a few years ago (beginner) and am going to teach myself This Land Is Your Land today. To you, Irving, Woody and Arlo. Dee

ps Pete Seeger, PPM, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash and many others – thanks!

Big Guy vs. Little Guy

The big guy is sitting on a pile of money at BP and Deepwater Horizon, who owns the rig, and 11 little guys are dead. A gulf and ocean may be dead as well due to their abject negligence of any safety mechanisms known to mankind.

Mankind, what does that term mean. Apparently it means nothing in the Gulf disaster. Eleven people died. Their families are grieving but few care about that.

The big guys care about their corporate names and blaming others lest they be blamed for the havoc they wrought. Give a guy a bonus for putting duct tape on a valve, that’s my fictitious take on this whole disaster, not necessarily the truth as more information comes to light that gives deep water drilling a really bad reputation.

If a company doesn’t have ways of preventing AND sealing leaks don’t give them a permit. Who knows what we’ve done in space with satellites and besides littering the universe, what is the damage we’ve caused?

No one cares what we’ve put up in space because the big guy doesn’t live there and hasn’t sent the little guy there yet to test it, and we’ll all be sorry for that later and not because it’s falling down, it’s spying on all of us. And now there are white vans that can see everything in our car and even through our clothing and then someone will stop the little guy, violating 4th Amendment rights against illegal search and seizure.

The time of beloved Woodie Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” is over. If you do something to protect your Constitutional rights this “little guy” will learn that song for you, and take up the guitar again. This land is my land, too. It was made for you and me. Cheers, Dee