The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #164872   Message #3950413
Posted By: Steve Shaw
14-Sep-18 - 10:00 AM
Thread Name: Popular Music. Doomed to oblivion?
Subject: RE: Popular Music. Doomed to oblivion?
Woody Guthrie, a man who knew what a good song is:

I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling. … I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood.
I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.
And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you. I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind that knock you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think you've not any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I'd starve to death before I'd sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow.


Woody hated God Bless America and he wrote This Land Is Your Land as a riposte. His original working title was God Blessed America. I'm pretty sure that the above quote was referring to songs such as that and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and Street Where You Live. I think I'll take his word for it.