March 23, 2011

New Take On An Old Standby

This great lyric was passed to me by writer/artist/activist Cesco di Santis of the Portrait Story Project. It's his reworking of Guthrie's classic "This Land is Your Land." For more on Cesco and his work, see the links below. Folk musicians, pick up your guitars...

This Appalachian Land (Ain’t) Your Land

As I went walkin', that wooded holler
I felt a blast shake, from way down yonder
Pickin' persimmons at Rock Creek, had a gun pulled up ta mah cheek
'Cuz I thought this land belonged to you and me

This land is Massey land, It is not your land
from the tumblin' flyrock, right to the pow'r plant
from the deep dark coal seam, to the billowin' smoke stack
This land reeks of "coal country"

As I went walkin' out on that flat land
I so did wonder, where my holler went
Well, the company man said, he reclaimed it
Well, this "reclaiming" ain't for you and me

I've seen this green land, turned to wasteland
From the ridgeline draglined into the valley fill
From the first core sample, right to the railroad tracks
This land's exported from you and me

Well, the public hearing turned out to be . . .
. . . just another coal rally
The drunken mob went there just to tell me
This land's just for the company

This land ain't my land, nor is it your land
From the Cumberlands to the Allegenies
From the fields of Bluegrass to the Smoky mountains
These coalfields're fer electricity

Call Mister King Coal, at his office,
And say "Sir, How could you do this?"
He'll say, "You dumb treehuggin' commie . . .
. . . This land was made just for me!"

"This land is my Land! It is not your Land!
From the overworked miners, all my minions
from the Oxycontin, to the slurry injections
Yer all awash in my wastestream!"

From Bloody Harlan to Blair Mountain,
From the Wall Street Meltdown to the corporate bailouts
From the greenwashers to the bloody war machine
Was this land ever for you and me?

From the mesas, to the valleys
From the Everglades to the Rocky mountains
Everywhere I go, I ask my people,
Could land land survive for you and me?

Could this be your Land? Could it be my Land?
All throughout Turtle Island
From the clearcut Redwoods to the Gulf Stream oil slick,
Could this land heal with you and me?

Read more about Cesco and his projects here:

1 comment:

  1. Well, "powers that be" haven't gotten the message yet. Maybe someone can sneak up on them with this light-hearted approach.