In a 1941 version of the song, “Talking Columbia,” Guthrie sang:
“Well, the folks need houses and stuff to eat,
And the folks need metals and the folks need wheat.
Folks need water and power dams,
And folks need people and the people need the land”.
But by “circa 1947,” after the war, Guthrie had substituted “folks” with “Uncle Sam,” shifting the focus from the needs of the people to the needs of the state, and effectively blurring the distinction between the two. This was an expression of Popular Front politics just as much as it was a result of Guthrie’s own changing views, but it gets to the heart of his full-throated support for the war effort, even in its most cruel and violent expressions.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Woody Guthrie, Liberal Fascist: