TULSA, Okla. — During the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on January 20th, Jennifer Lopez sang a song with strong Oklahoma ties, "This Land is Your Land."
American folk singer and Oklahoman Woody Guthrie wrote the song "This Land is Your Land" in 1940.
Guthrie, born in Okemah in 1912, became a prolific songwriter and traveled the country throughout his career. His songs are said to "turned complex ideas about democracy, human rights, and economic equality into simple songs that all Americans could embrace."
Guthrie wrote "This Land as Your Land" as a response to being "tired" of hearing"God Bless America" on the radio in the 1930s, sang by Kate Smith. Originally, Guthrie "sarcastically called his song "God Bless America for Me" prior to naming it, "This Land is Your Land." The original lyrics also did not include the famous line, "This land was made for you and me."
Guthrie's archive, including handwritten lyrics and drawings are housed in Tulsa at the Woody Guthrie Center. The center posted about Jennifer Lopez' performance on their social media accounts saying they are honored Lopez sang the song on inauguration day.
The Woody Guthrie Center is honored Jennifer Lopez sang This Land is Your Land at today's inauguration of the 46th President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris of the United States of America.@JLo @JoeBiden #thislandisyourland #jlo #joebiden #InaugurationDay pic.twitter.com/m5uxMXJ6ms— Woody Guthrie Center (@WoodyGuthrieCtr) January 20, 2021
"This Land is Your Land" became one of 50 recordings picked in 2002 to be added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress. To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the song a gala concert took place in New York City
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