This week, we’re featuring “This Land Is Your Land” ukulele tutorial. “This Land Is Your Land” is a very famous American folk song. Woody Guthrie composed the first version of the song in 1940. Accordingly, Guthrie wrote the song because of “God Bless America”. Guthrie was exasperated and weary of hearing Irving Berlin’s composition on the radio. Actually, he initially entitled the 1940 version “God Blessed America”. However, Guthrie later replaced the line “God blessed America for me”. This became “This land was made for you and me.” Subsequently, he renamed the title as “This Land Is Your Land.”
By the way, you might want to check our easy ukulele tutorial for “God Bless America”. Or visit our blog main page for a list of more ukulele lessons. Also, subscribe here to receive bi-weekly ukulele updates including sheet music. Sheet music contains ukulele chords, lyrics of the song, strumming pattern and melody tabs.
THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND UKULELE TUTORIAL
To play along with “This Land Is Your Land” ukulele tutorial, we’ll need five chords. “This Land Is Your Land” ukulele chords are all open chords, no bars: C, C7, F, Am and G7.
In addition, strumming pattern follows a D-U-D-U (D-down, U-up) repetition. But there are some cases where Jenny rests on strumming to give focus to the lyrics. And also to give the song more interest.
GUTHRIE’S MOST FAMOUS AND INFLUENTIAL SONG
Although Guthrie composed hundreds of folk songs and ballads, many consider “This Land Is Your Land” as his most famous and influential song. The National Recording Preservation Board included “This Land Is Your Land” on the list of recordings to be preserved in the US National Recording Registry in 2002.
Aside from the song’s powerful description of America’s beauty and promise, the song is also known as a protest and political song. In fact, the original version of the song that Guthrie penned in 1940 expressed his sadness with the country’s economic inequality and apathetic greediness. When the song was recorded in 1944, however, several political verses have been replaced.
Woody Guthrie, singer, songwriter, dean of American folk artists is seen in a 1947 publicity photo. (AP Photo/RCA Victor)
Nonetheless, the song’s influence, and Guthrie’s in general, cannot be disputed. “This Land Is Your Land” remains to be a revered American folk song. Some even claim it to be as popular as the national anthem. On the other hand, Guthrie influenced many generations of American singers and songwriters. To name a few, Johnny Cash, Pete Seeger, John Mellencamp, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen cited Guthrie as an inspiration.
Like other popular folk songs, “This Land Is Your Land” inspired numerous versions and variations. In fact, singers from many countries have recorded the song. They adapted the lyrics to their own language and national narrative.