.

Song Stories

“This Land Is Your Land”

Woody Guthrie | 1945

Schoolchildren consider this Woody Guthrie song a poetic tribute to America, like Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A.," yet, like that anthem, it has often been misunderstood. Written in response to Irving Berlin's jingoistic "God Bless America," the song challenges the notion of capitalism — though more subtly after blatantly Marxist lyrics were omitted. "My dad was bent on two directions at once," Arlo Guthrie wrote in Rolling Stone. "To escape the world and to change the world. I think all his songs deal with one or both of those subjects."

prev
Song Stories Main Next

Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

More Song Stories entries »
www.expandtheroom.com