Frasi di Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie foto
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Woody Guthrie

Data di nascita: 14. Luglio 1912
Data di morte: 3. Ottobre 1967

Pubblicità

Woodrow Wilson Guthrie, noto come Woody Guthrie , è stato un musicista, cantautore, scrittore e folklorista statunitense; Il nome completo gli fu imposto in onore del presidente Woodrow Wilson.

Considerato tra i folk singer più importanti della storia della musica americana, ebbe molta influenza su artisti quali Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Joan Baez, Bruce Springsteen, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jeff Tweedy e Ramblin' Jack Elliot.

È stato autore di numerosi blues parlati, derivazione del blues e stile precursore della successiva canzone di protesta. Il suo repertorio include canzoni a sfondo politico, ballate tradizionali, canzoni per bambini e brani improvvisati. Molte delle sue registrazioni sono conservate nella Library of Congress.

La sua canzone più conosciuta è This Land Is Your Land , che ha ispirato il film Questa terra è la mia terra tratto dalla sua autobiografia, Bound for Glory.

Sebbene musicalmente attingesse da generi consolidati quali il blues di tradizione nera o il folk di matrice bianca, i suoi testi furono, per l'epoca, una grossa novità, introducendo temi che andavano a denunciare la società e a informare il popolo sulle condizioni dello stato americano, spesso puntando il dito contro delinquenti o dittatori.

Di idee socialiste e per un certo periodo militante comunista, attenzionato dall'FBI e dalla Commissione per le attività antiamericane durante il maccartismo, e a lungo bandito dalle radio, era solito esibirsi con lo slogan "This Machine Kills Fascists" impresso sulla chitarra, divenuto vero e proprio "marchio di fabbrica" dell'artista. Appose questa scritta, la prima volta, quando si arruolò nella marina mercantile per supportare l'esercito statunitense nella lotta al nazifascismo nel 1943.

Si sposò tre volte e fu padre di otto bambini, incluso il musicista folk Arlo Guthrie. Morì a 55 anni a causa della malattia di Huntington.

Da lui discende la figura del cantautore di protesta o contestatore; divenne un mito durante l'epoca del folk revival, ispirando una schiera di nuovi musicisti folk.

Frasi Woody Guthrie

„I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood.
I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.“

— Woody Guthrie
Context: I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling. … I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you. I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind that knock you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think you've not any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I'd starve to death before I'd sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow. Statement quoted in Prophet Singer: The Voice And Vision of Woody Guthrie (2007) by Mark Allan Jackson. There are a few slight variants of this statement, which seems to have originated in a performance monologue.

Pubblicità

„And these pleasures that you cannot ever forget are the yeast that always starts working in your mind again, and it gets in your thoughts again, and in your eyes again, and then, all at once, no matter what has happened to you, you are building a brand new world again, based and built on the mistakes, the wreck, the hard luck and trouble of the old one.“

— Woody Guthrie
Context: I have hoped as many hopes and dreamed so many dreams, seen them swept aside by weather, and blown away by men, washed away in my own mistakes, that — I use to wonder if it wouldn't be better just to haul off and quit hoping. Just protect my own inner brain, my own mind and heart, by drawing it up into a hard knot, and not having any more hopes or dreams at all. Pull in my feelings, and call back all of my sentiments — and not let any earthly event move me in either direction, either cause me to hate, to fear, to love, to care, to take sides, to argue the matter at all — and, yet … there are certain good times, and pleasures that I never can forget, no matter how much I want to, because the pleasures, and the displeasures, the good times and the bad, are really all there is to me. And these pleasures that you cannot ever forget are the yeast that always starts working in your mind again, and it gets in your thoughts again, and in your eyes again, and then, all at once, no matter what has happened to you, you are building a brand new world again, based and built on the mistakes, the wreck, the hard luck and trouble of the old one. [http://web.archive.org/19991001055247/www.geocities.com/Nashville/3448/music.html "Notes about Music" (29 March 1946)] also quoted in A Race of Singers: Whitman's Working-Class Hero from Guthrie to Springsteen (2000) by Bryan K. Garman, p. 244

„The human race is a pretty old place.“

— Woody Guthrie
Context: No matter how bad the wicked world has hurt you, in the long run, there is something gained, and it is all for the best … The note of hope is the only note that can help us or save us from falling to the bottom of the heap of evolution, because, largely, about all a human being is, anyway, is just a hoping machine, a working machine, and any song that says, the pleasures I have seen in all of my trouble, are the things I never can get — don't worry — the human race will sing this way as long as there is a human to race. The human race is a pretty old place. "Notes about Music" (29 March 1946) also quoted in Ramblin' Man: The Life and Times of Woody Guthrie (2004) by Ed Cray

„No matter how bad the wicked world has hurt you, in the long run, there is something gained, and it is all for the best … The note of hope is the only note that can help us or save us from falling to the bottom of the heap of evolution, because, largely, about all a human being is, anyway, is just a hoping machine, a working machine“

— Woody Guthrie
Context: No matter how bad the wicked world has hurt you, in the long run, there is something gained, and it is all for the best … The note of hope is the only note that can help us or save us from falling to the bottom of the heap of evolution, because, largely, about all a human being is, anyway, is just a hoping machine, a working machine, and any song that says, the pleasures I have seen in all of my trouble, are the things I never can get — don't worry — the human race will sing this way as long as there is a human to race. The human race is a pretty old place. "Notes about Music" (29 March 1946) also quoted in Ramblin' Man: The Life and Times of Woody Guthrie (2004) by Ed Cray

„I'm just a lonesome traveler, The Great Historical Bum.“

— Woody Guthrie
Context: I'm just a lonesome traveler, The Great Historical Bum. Highly educated from history I have come. I built the Rock of Ages, 'twas in the Year of One And that was about the biggest thing that man had ever done. I worked in the Garden of Eden, that was the year of two, Joined the apple pickers union, I always paid my due; I'm the man that signed the contract to raise the rising sun, And that was about the biggest thing that man had ever done

„Wherever little children are hungry and cry,
Wherever people ain't free.
Wherever men are fightin' for their rights,
That's where I'm a-gonna be, Ma.
That's where I'm a-gonna be.“

— Woody Guthrie
Context: p>Ever'body might be just one big soul, Well it looks that a-way to me. Everywhere that you look, in the day or night, That's where I'm a-gonna be, Ma, That's where I'm a-gonna be.Wherever little children are hungry and cry, Wherever people ain't free. Wherever men are fightin' for their rights, That's where I'm a-gonna be, Ma. That's where I'm a-gonna be.</p [http://web.archive.org/20020319170819/www.geocities.com/nashville/3448/tomjoad.html "Tom Joad" (1940)], a ballad based on the character Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

„The people are building a peaceful world, and when the job is done
That'll be the biggest thing that man has ever done.“

— Woody Guthrie
Context: I'd better quit my talking, 'cause I told you all I know, But please remember, pardner, wherever you may go, The people are building a peaceful world, and when the job is done That'll be the biggest thing that man has ever done. Variant: The world is digging, slavery's grave and when the job is done This'll be the biggest thing that man has ever done.

Pubblicità

„I have hoped as many hopes and dreamed so many dreams, seen them swept aside by weather, and blown away by men, washed away in my own mistakes, that — I use to wonder if it wouldn't be better just to haul off and quit hoping.“

— Woody Guthrie
Context: I have hoped as many hopes and dreamed so many dreams, seen them swept aside by weather, and blown away by men, washed away in my own mistakes, that — I use to wonder if it wouldn't be better just to haul off and quit hoping. Just protect my own inner brain, my own mind and heart, by drawing it up into a hard knot, and not having any more hopes or dreams at all. Pull in my feelings, and call back all of my sentiments — and not let any earthly event move me in either direction, either cause me to hate, to fear, to love, to care, to take sides, to argue the matter at all — and, yet … there are certain good times, and pleasures that I never can forget, no matter how much I want to, because the pleasures, and the displeasures, the good times and the bad, are really all there is to me. And these pleasures that you cannot ever forget are the yeast that always starts working in your mind again, and it gets in your thoughts again, and in your eyes again, and then, all at once, no matter what has happened to you, you are building a brand new world again, based and built on the mistakes, the wreck, the hard luck and trouble of the old one. [http://web.archive.org/19991001055247/www.geocities.com/Nashville/3448/music.html "Notes about Music" (29 March 1946)] also quoted in A Race of Singers: Whitman's Working-Class Hero from Guthrie to Springsteen (2000) by Bryan K. Garman, p. 244

„Ever'body might be just one big soul,
Well it looks that a-way to me.“

— Woody Guthrie
Context: p>Ever'body might be just one big soul, Well it looks that a-way to me. Everywhere that you look, in the day or night, That's where I'm a-gonna be, Ma, That's where I'm a-gonna be.Wherever little children are hungry and cry, Wherever people ain't free. Wherever men are fightin' for their rights, That's where I'm a-gonna be, Ma. That's where I'm a-gonna be.</p [http://web.archive.org/20020319170819/www.geocities.com/nashville/3448/tomjoad.html "Tom Joad" (1940)], a ballad based on the character Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

„I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose.“

— Woody Guthrie
Context: I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling. … I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you. I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind that knock you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think you've not any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I'd starve to death before I'd sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow. Statement quoted in Prophet Singer: The Voice And Vision of Woody Guthrie (2007) by Mark Allan Jackson. There are a few slight variants of this statement, which seems to have originated in a performance monologue.

„As the fog was lifting a voice come chanting:
This land was made for you and me.“

— Woody Guthrie
Context: When the sun came shining as I was strolling, And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling, As the fog was lifting a voice come chanting: This land was made for you and me. This is one of the more variable of the stanzas; other renditions include: Where the wind is blowing I go a strolling The wheat field waving and the dust clouds rolling The fog is lifting and the wind is saying: This land is made for you and me. The sun comes shining as I was strolling, The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling, The fog was lifting as a voice come chanting: This land was made for you and me.

Pubblicità

„This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ours, cause we don't give a darn.“

— Woody Guthrie
Context: This song is Copyrighted in U. S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ours, cause we don't give a darn. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do. Message on mimeographed copies of lyrics distributed to fans in the 1930s, as quoted by Pete Seeger in an NPR interview "Pete Seeger remembers Woody" (1996)

„We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do.“

— Woody Guthrie
Context: This song is Copyrighted in U. S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ours, cause we don't give a darn. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do. Message on mimeographed copies of lyrics distributed to fans in the 1930s, as quoted by Pete Seeger in an NPR interview "Pete Seeger remembers Woody" (1996)

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