Jesus Christ was a man who traveled through the land
Hard working man and brave
He said to the rich, “Give your goods to the poor.”
So they laid Jesus Christ in his grave. – Woody Guthrie, “Jesus Christ”
This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do. – Woody Guthrie’s copyright warning, ca. 1940
His guitar was a fascist-killing machine and from the looks of his copyright warning, he was Open Source before Open Source was cool. When money tried to make him sing something other than what he wanted to sing, he walked away from the money. His songs have a resonance that echo across the decades. In their simplicity, they are immortal. Now if only more folks would really listen to them, we’d have something here.