Historically, American music was shaped by the the people’s narrative. From Woody Guthrie to Bruce Springsteen, singers and songwriters told the stories and shared the concerns of working men and women for the better part of a century. In honor of their efforts, We Party Patriots has started the Solidarity Soundtrack, accessible via Pinterest.
While many performers who embody the worker’s message have gone on to achieve fame and monetary success, their roots still come through in song. Take Bruce Springsteen, who after 4 decades of success is still being labeled as a “$200 million poor boy from New Jersey.” Last year, speaking to reporters about his new album, “Wrecking Ball,” Springsteen talked about how his upbringing in a working class house still fuels his music.
“The deepest motivation comes out of the house that I grew up in and the circumstances that were set up there, which is mirrored around the United States with the level of unemployment we have right now,” he told European reporters in an intimate discussion about his new album, “Wrecking Ball.”
Perhaps no American singer has better represented the working man than the “Dust Bowl Troubadour” himself, Woody Guthrie. Born in Oklahoma, Guthrie, who would have turned 100 in July, said it best when speaking of folk music and the power it can have on the listener:
A folk song is what’s wrong and how to fix it or it could be
who’s hungry and where their mouth is or
who’s out of work and where the job is or
who’s broke and where the money is or
who’s carrying a gun and where the peace is.
Then there’s the sixth verse of “This Land is Your Land,” Guthrie’s view of America in 1940. It’s eerily similar to the America in which working men and women live today. In Guthrie there is an eternal hope that, despite our failures as a nation, we still have the opportunity to make it better. That opportunity comes at a cost, but to forfeit it is equal to surrender.
In the squares of the city, In the shadow of a steeple;
By the relief office, I’d seen my people.
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking,
Is this land made for you and me?
Check out the rest of our SOLIDARITY SOUNDTRACK on Pinterest.