When Woodie Guthrie wrote “This Land is Your Land” in 1940 and set it to the tune of a Carter Family song ,”When the World’s on Fire,” he was responding to Irving Berlin’s, “God Bless America.” He was apparently tired of hearing it repeatedly.
When I think of the opening lyrics to “This Land is Your Land”:
This land is your land
This land is my land
From California to the New York Islands
From the Redwood Forest
To the Gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me
I think of the amazing, adventurous hikes I went on before I had my daughter Bee two years ago. More importantly, the song reminds me of the family hikes I’ve enjoyed since joining my local branch of Hike it Baby. Hike it Baby’s values include No Judgment and Building Community are two of the reasons I became a member. If HiB had a theme song, I think Guthrie’s song would certainly resonate with our U.S. branches, especially the line: “This land was made for you and me.”
The song really resonates with me
I was born and raised in the New York Metro area and have memories of visiting the New York islands (the “five boroughs” to us locals New Yawkers) throughout my life. I’ve climbed the crown at the Statue of Liberty, eaten pizza on Staten Island after taking the ferry from New Jersey, and had a blast at a company picnic on Governor’s Island, just to name some highlight visits.
Seven summers ago, I visited Muir Woods in California for the first time while on my honeymoon. My husband, Dan, planned a 500 mile California adventure for us with lots of day hikes. Seeing a redwood tree in person is truly one of the beautiful natural specimens I have ever seen in my almost four decades on Earth. While the park was very filled with other tourists like me, Muir Woods was still an awe inspiring, stunning national park to visit.
In a recent HiB BA newsletter, I asked my fellow HiB members to send me pictures from the places mentioned in “This Land is Your Land.” As usual, my HiB community did not let me down!
Woody Guthrie singing This Land is Your Land