Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolutions, Guthrie Style

I consider Woody Guthrie, Patient Zero, in my disease of my music love. Everything goes back to him. He was punk rock before punk rock, he was singing protest songs way before the hippies of the 1960s, he was folk when it was more than just a genre of music. He was just, at least in my head and heart, what music should be all about.  All his songs are simple and powerful at the same time. He sang the songs that really mattered. He would of turned 100 this coming July, and I bet there is going to be one heck of a hootenanny in heaven.

Today I came across (via Wilco's FB page) a copy of Guthrie's 1942 New Years Resolutions. And even through I try to be avoid the negative aspects that resolutions tend to heave on us, I kind of love his:
If you click on the above Wilco link you can see a better view of the pages and his little drawings, but here are some of my favorites:

13. Read lots of good books
14. Listen to radio a lot
15. Learn people better
17. Don't get lonesome
18. Stay glad
19. Keep Hoping Machine Running
20. Dream Good
26. Dance Better
28. Love Mama
29. Love Papa
30. Love Pete
31. Love Everyone
32. Make Up Your Mind
33. Wake Up and Fight

Film of Guthrie actually performing is extreme rare, but because preservationists and archivists and You Tube are awesome, here is a little classic Guthrie on the first day of this bright new year:

And more words from the man, himself:
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 or 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 travelling. 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 that you've not got 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 Guthrie

Happy New Year! (and don't forget to love Pete)

1 comment :

  1. That's awesome! I loved the "Wash teeth-if any"