SOL17 DoodleaDay 11 This Land


I am not a singer, but I sing. It’s off key and not something anyone else wants to hear.

But singing soothes the soul.

And songs that send me chills of love and patriotism remind me of how America is what it is through struggle, struggle for justice for all.  And the songs I sang in the 60s remind me of those struggles; they remind me now of why those songs and those struggles are still important, in fact more so, in today’s hateful governmental reach.

I struggle wondering what happened to my country, this land that is made for you and me, no matter who you are. Yes: no matter who you are.

This is one of my favorite patriotic folk songs, which sings of many struggles, and reminded us in one verse of This Land is Your Land:

Nobody living can ever stop me

As I go walking my Freedom Highway

Nobody living can make me turn back

This land was made for you and me.

If our democratic republic is to survive with our basic freedoms, we must walk that Freedom Highway of free speech and freedom to assemble in order to make known that what is happening is not acceptable. We will not live in a culture of hate and fear; we will live ways that fight for justice for all — not the permitted few and the billionaires.

Now, I don’t begrudge the billionaires their riches; but I do expect them to fight for and honor the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of everyone else as well.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” ~Declaration of Independence

Citizen, Immigrant, Refugee have unalienable Rights, and I expect the rich and powerful to stop denying social justice programs.

We must honor all human beings as we once did and were admired for as world leaders in human rights issues; where, with other democracies we “fight for justice in their lives,” as Tracy Chapmen wrote about Nelson Mandela in Freedom Now.

This Land is Your Land, for Americans, was written in many different versions by Woodie Guthrie because injustice rears its wicked head in many ways. Read the song’s history here.

So, how did our country lose its democracy? I wish I had seen this 2014 interview of Henry Giroux — I wish I had been reading Truth-Out.org, which I did not because it does not have an “About Page,” and I thought it would lean too ‘left’ for my readers. I found more here in Wikipedia. But had I been reading this site, it would have opened my eyes to what’s been happening since the 80s on up through Obama. I have not watched this 2015 interview, but plan to. Sometimes being ‘balanced’ keeps us from deeper truths in the ‘big picture’ sense of truth.

So my poem today includes new verses for that American social just song: This Land is Your Land:

There’s people living in other countries
Who want their freedom and family’s safety
They follow their dreams, a risk of ev’ry thing
This land was made for you and me.

We who are living in our great country
Once welcomed dreamers as fellow humans
Providing justice to ease their suffering
This land was made for you and me.

We made our country the greatest ever
A nation proud of its justice virtue
We now must stand up and keep its honor
This land is made for you and me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: letters

Doodling Song: This Land is Your Land by Woodie Guthrie – sung by his son Arlo and more.

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