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Sunday 15 July 2012

The Guthrie Inheritance

As you may have heard, yesterday marked the centenary of Woody Guthrie's birth. His songs remain as relevant today as they were on the day he wrote them, this first one in particular.

"The Jolly Banker" - Woody Guthrie

"Do Re Mi" - Woody Guthrie

In these difficult times, is it any wonder that the likes of Steve Earle and Billy Bragg are echoing the words of the Barracudas and imploring Woody to return.

"I Want My Woody Back" - The Barracudas

In a sense he has never really gone away. He left two legacies: his songs and his descendants. For Woody begat Arlo and Arlo begat Sarah Lee. Here they both are, covering songs by two of the men most influenced by Woody, Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger.

"When The Ship Comes In" - Arlo Guthrie

"Sailing Down This Golden River" - Sarah Lee Guthrie

Here are some more fans doing what is perhaps Woody's best known (and most misunderstood) song. You'll know the first fellow. After that you get Joe Ely, Alejandro Escovedo and some young people I don't recognise but who apparently include Arcade Fire, The Low Anthem and the bloke from Rage Against The Machine. Mind you, the person who posted this on YouTube claims Eric Burdon is there as well, so the rest of what he has written may also be lies for all I know.

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