Happy 100th Birthday, Woody Guthrie!

New songs by the American folk legend keep turning up, a century after his birth

Woody Guthrie, shown here in the 1940s, created great lines in songs and drawings. (Bettmann / Corbis; Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives And Collections, SI / Copyright Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc.)
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Because Guthrie wrote so much, stashes of recordings and drawings are still being found. And it wasn’t until decades after his death that Place finally traced the origins of the “This Land Is Your Land” melody. It’s likely based on a church hymn titled “When This World’s on Fire.”

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About Abigail Tucker

A frequent contributor to Smithsonian, Abigail Tucker is the author of The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World, which is available in bookstores and online starting October 18. More information is available at her website: abigailtucker.com

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