Commie Woody Guthrie’s Daughter Doesn’t Want ‘Insurrectionist’ Josh Hawley Using ‘This Land Is Your Land’

(AP Photo/File)

Oh, brother. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has sponsored a bill to stop members of the Chinese Communist Party from owning farmland in the United States, and has given it the name “This Land Is Our Land Act,” echoing the Communist folkie Woody Guthrie’s song “This Land Is Your Land.” Hawley’s reference to the song doesn’t sit well with the old Commie’s daughter, Nora Guthrie, who is enraged that someone whom she considers an “insurrectionist” would dare appropriate her father’s Marxist, atheist anthem.

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The Kansas City Star reported Monday that Nora Guthrie doesn’t mind when politicians use the song, as long as the use “aligns with the song’s values.” And Josh Hawley wanting to prevent Woody’s fellow Communists from buying up American farmland decidedly does not align with the song’s values: “In this particular case,” Nora Guthrie fumed, “the co-opting or parodying of the lyric by those not aligned with Woody’s lyrics — i.e. misrepresentation by autocrats, racists, white nationalists, anti-labor, insurrectionists, etc. — is not condoned. We do not consider Josh Hawley in any way a representative of Woody’s values therefore we would never endorse or approve of his reference to Woody’s lyrics.”

This is all just virtue-signaling, as titles can’t be copyrighted, so Nora can’t stop Hawley from using it, but at least now she has shown her fellow Leftists that she, like them at all times and in all conceivable circumstances, is not happy.

It’s useful to recall what exactly the “values” of “This Land Is Your Land” really are. The lyrics in the most popular version are vague enough for the song to be taken simply as a declaration of love for this country, and it often is; that’s likely why Hawley chose a name that recalled the song for his bill. However, it’s also a paean to atheism and Communism. In 2012, the centenary of Guthrie’s birth, NPR ran a feature about the song, noting that some people said it “a Marxist response to ‘God Bless America.’”

Woody Guthrie, who once said that “the best thing that I did in 1936 was to sign up with the Communist Party,” according to NPR was “irritated by Irving Berlin’s ‘God Bless America,’ sung by Kate Smith, which seemed to be endlessly playing on the radio in the late 1930s. So irritated, in fact, that he wrote this song as a retort, at first sarcastically calling it ‘God Blessed America for Me’ before renaming it ‘This Land Is Your Land.’” Guthrie’s original lyrics were open Marxist agitprop:

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There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me.
The sign was painted, said ‘Private Property.’
But on the backside, it didn’t say nothing.
This land was made for you and me.

One bright sunny morning in the shadow of the steeple,
by the relief office I saw my people.
As they stood hungry,
I stood there wondering if God blessed America for me.

Nora Guthrie says Woody didn’t record those lyrics because of the evil anti-Communists: “This is the early ’50s, and McCarthy’s out there, and it was considered dangerous in many ways to record this kind of material.” Yet now she has become just as censorious as those she despises.

Related: Now Disney Says Bluebirds and Sunshine Are Racist, Too

The Kansas City Star asked Hawley’s office for comment on Nora Guthrie’s rage and got back a delicious reply from Hawley’s spokeswoman, Abigail Marone: “The Kansas City Star is where journalism goes to die. Josh’s bill protects America’s food chain, farmers, and national security — that’s the real story The Star should cover.” Indeed. But protecting America is not a high priority for Marxists or for their propaganda arm known as the establishment media, and so it’s entirely understandable that the paper would focus on the woke rage of Woody Guthrie’s daughter rather than on the actual substance of Hawley’s bill.

Meanwhile, the irony is just off the charts here. Woody Guthrie was so pro-Soviet that when Stalin’s Soviet Union concluded a pact with National Socialist Germany in August 1939, Woody dutifully followed the party line and started writing antiwar songs about how bad it would be for the United States to get into a war against Hitler because he didn’t want to see America throwing its military might against a state with whom the Workers’ Paradise had a non-aggression pact. What was that Nora Guthrie was saying about “insurrectionists”? She may hope we have forgotten about her father’s fanatical Stalinism. At least some of us haven’t.

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