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I Got to Know – A Guthrie Song that Says It All

I Got To Know sung by Sarah Lee Guthrie

American songwriter, Woody Guthrie, was born in 1912 in Oklahoma. His songs documented the trials of the dust bowl years and the depression, the labor movement and the anti-war movement. His most well-known song is This Land is Your Land has been sung by millions. However, the following song I Got To Know deserve as much recognition. It particulary seems to speak to our times. Here it is sung by Sarah Lee Guthrie, his granddaughter. She dedicates the song to the people at Standing Rock protesting the pipeline.

 

Woody is just Woody. Thousands of people do not know he has any other name. He is just a voice and a guitar. He sings the songs of a people and I suspect that he is, in a way, that people. Harsh voiced and nasal, his guitar hanging like a tire iron on a rusty rim, there is nothing sweet about Woody, and there is nothing sweet about the songs he sings. But there is something more important for those who still listen. There is the will of a people to endure and fight against oppression. I think we call this the American spirit.” - John Steinbeck

 

Teaching materials for Woody Guthrie

Find the lyrics for I Got to Know here

Teach Peace Now
Teach Peace Now
We offer books, activities, lesson plans, and ideas that teachers, parents, and students can use to promote values, attitudes and behaviors which encourage non-violent resolution of conflict, respect for human rights, democracy, intercultural understanding and tolerance.

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