Some have called “This Land Is Your Land” an alternative national anthem. Others say it’s a Marxist response to “God Bless America.” It was written and first sung by Woody Guthrie. Over time, it’s been sung by everyone from Lady Gaga to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Folklorist Nick Spitzer has the story of an American classic.

Woodrow Wilson Guthrie was born in 1912 in Okemah, Okla. He recorded “This Land Is Your Land” during a marathon April 1944 session in New York for Moses Asch, who founded Folkways Records. Guthrie was on shore leave from the Merchant Marines, one of his many occupations during the Depression and war years.

Growing up in small-town Oklahoma, Guthrie heard church hymns, outlaw ballads, blues, fiddle tunes and popular music. The Guthries had been fairly prosperous — Woody’s father was a small-time politician and businessman — but the family unraveled in the topsy-turvy oil economy of the ‘20s and '30s. The Guthrie family relocated to Pampa, Tex., after Woody’s mother was committed to a mental institution for a mysterious nervous condition. That’s when Woody took to the road.

As a boy, he’d already proven himself to be a gifted street entertainer — dancing, playing guitar and harmonica, making up songs as he went. Words and music became a growing passion for him.

The Story Of Woody Guthrie’s 'This Land Is Your Land’

Photo: Courtesy of Library of Congress


traditional love ballads sung by women about women 

She Moved Through the Fair Cecile Corbel

Black is the Color | Celtic Woman (note: I REALLY wanted to use the version by Japanese artist, Kokia, but it is no longer on youtube)

Star of the County Down | Loreena Mckennitt

Fainne Geal an Lae | Fionna Tyndall

Wild Mountain Thyme | Unknown/Emma? (note: not specifically sapphic, but was written by a man about his wife. Singer asks another woman to accompany her to the mountain, which has romantic implications)

Maid of Llanwellyn | Kate Rusby

Annabel Lee | Joan Baez

Sweet Amaryllis | Cecile Corbel

East Virginia | Joan Baez

if you have any suggestions for traditional ballads sung by women about women, feel free to add or ask me to add! painting is of Britomart from Spenser’s Faerie Queene


A playlist for every adventurer who knows they are destined to meet their end in a watery grave or at the end of a noose.

Songs for when there’s salt in the air and wind in your hair
…and songs for when you find yourself in a cold jail cell making a deal with the devil.

“If I should die out here at sea
would anyone be mourning me?
or would I leave this world unknown?
salt for salt and bone for bone”

listen (x)

bleed, honey
bleed, honey

‘bleed, honey’ is a track that i started writing during my time in florida back in august, i wrote the chorus first and then pondered and obsessed over the rest of the song for the whole week, meditating on it as we swam in the ocean at ormond beach. this is a little acoustic version that i wanted to share it with you; the full version sounds quite different! lyrics under the jump:

Keep reading


DakhaBrakha: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert                                                              

Set List
“Sho Z-Pod Duba” 0:00
“Torokh” 3:43
“Divka-Marusechka” 8:07

Credits:  Producers: Bob Boilen, Maggie Starbard; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Morgan McCloy, Maggie Starbard, AJ Wilhelm; Assistant Producer: Annie Bartholomew; photo by Colin Marshall/NPR

Description from Wiki

“DakhaBrakha is a Ukrainian folk quartet which combines the musical styles of several ethnic groups. It was a winner of the Sergey Kuryokhin Prize in 2009.

DakhaBrakha is a project of the DAKh Center for Contemporary Art, led by Vladyslav Troitskyi and born as a live theater music crew. V. Troiskyi continues to be the band’s producer. Members of DakhaBrakha participate in the Centre’s other projects, notably in the all-female cabaret project Dakh Daughters, as well as in the annual Gogolfest festival.

The group’s name derives from Ukrainian verbs Давати аnd Брати, meaning “give” and “take”, respectively - while also playing on the Art Centre’s name “Dakh” (literally ‘roof’ in Ukrainian).

DakhaBrakha was originally a daughter project of Ukrainian avant-garde theater, Dakh, and its artistic director, Vladislav Troitsky.”

Artemis:  Just watch… listen.  You’ll hear so many influences and the talent.