July 20, 2012

Woody Guthrie, Songwriter

This month I've heard several tributes to Woody Guthrie on the radio because it's the centennial of his birth. Tonight's broadcast of Sidetracks just reminded me of how inspiring Woody was to many, many people. And I thought about the influence of songwriters.

How many writers of prose have the influence of someone like Woody Guthrie? Only a handful. Woody's audience over the years probably numbers in the billions. Most of us know the lyrics to This Land is Your Land, and it's been recorded by numerous artists all over the world.  And Woody helped bring the social commentary type of song into the mainstream of music plus his influence on other songwriters is still significant 45 years after his death.

I think songwriting in general is under-appreciated. A good song (and sometimes even a not-so-good song) can cheer, inspire, educate, and invigorate many people. A listener can draw comfort from a song, and even find healing from lyrics, especially since they are easily repeated over and over. What could be more therapeutic? 

So let's hear it for songwriters! And hooray for Woody Guthrie, one of my heroes.


  1. I really like Woody Guthrie, one of these days I'll put in a photo.

  2. I hope you do, Leovi! I follow your blog and really enjoy it.


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