This Land Is Your Land

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This Land Is Your Land  (1940) 
by Woody Guthrie
"This Land Is Your Land" is one of the United States' most famous folk songs, written by Woody Guthrie in 1940. It was originally written in response to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America." Guthrie considered that song unrealistic and complacent, and was tired of hearing Kate Smith sing it on the radio, so he wrote a different song, originally called "God Blessed America for Me." Guthrie varied the lyrics over time, sometimes including more overtly political verses that often do not appear in recordings or publications.
— Excerpted from This Land Is Your Land on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

The publication "10 of the Woody Guthrie songs" was submitted as evidence in the court case JibJab v Ludlow to prove this song was in the Public domain.[1]

This land is your land, this land is my land Woody Guthrie 10 of the Woody Guthrie songs - Our Land.png

CHORUS:
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island,
From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf Stream waters,
   This land was made for you and me

As I went walking that ribbon of highway
And saw above me that endless skyway,
And saw below me the golden valley, I said:
   This land was made for you and me

CHORUS

I roamed and rambled and followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts,
And all around me, a voice was sounding:
   This land was made for you and me

CHORUS

Was a high wall there that tried to stop me
A sign was painted said: Private Property,
But on the back side it didn't say nothing —
   This land was made for you and me

CHORUS

When the sun come shining, then I was strolling
In wheat fields waving and dust clouds rolling;
The voice was sounding as the fog was lifting:
   This land was made for you and me

CHORUS

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
   This land was made for you and me

CHORUS


"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 ourn, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do."

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was legally published within the United States (or the United Nations Headquarters in New York subject to Section 7 of the United States Headquarters Agreement) before 1964, and copyright was not renewed.
For Class A renewals records (books only) published between 1923 and 1963, check the Stanford Copyright Renewal Database and the Rutgers copyright renewal records.
For other renewal records of publications between 1922 - 1950 see the Pennsylvania copyright records scans.
For all records since 1978, search the U.S. Copyright Office records.

The author died in 1967, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 30 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.


Works published in 1940 would have had to renew their copyright in either 1967 or 1968, i.e. at least 27 years after it was first published / registered but not later than 31 December(31 December) in the 28th year. As it was not renewed, it entered the public domain on 1 January 1969(1 January 1969).