The Kansas City Star: Woody Guthrie’s Family to Josh Hawley: Stop using his lyrics, ‘insurrectionist’

Woody Guthrie may be one of the most influential American folk musicians. He also was a socialist and anti-fascist.

Guthrie is most well known for the song “This Land Is Your Land,” which originally critiqued the ownership of private property and called out wealth inequality in the United States.

After Josh Hawley invoked some famous Woody Guthrie lyrics to introduce a bill last week, Guthrie’s daughter called him out for his phoniness:

Nora Guthrie, Woody’s daughter, said it’s not uncommon for politicians to make use of “This Land Is Your Land” because the song advocates for democratic representation. She said she didn’t mind the song being used politically, as long as it aligns with the song’s values.

“In this particular case, the co-opting or parodying of the lyric by those not aligned with Woody’s lyrics – i.e. misrepresentation by autocrats, racists, white nationalists, anti-labor, insurrectionists, etc. – is not condoned,” Guthrie wrote in an email. “We do not consider Josh Hawley in any way a representative of Woody’s values therefore we would never endorse or approve of his reference to Woody’s lyrics.”

The Kansas City Star, March 13, 2023

Hawley loves to talk the talk and pretend he stands for working families and Missouri values. But even from far away, it’s easy to spot him for the phony he is.

Read the full story in The Kansas City Star here.

Posted March 14, 2023