'''Woody Guthrie''' (1912-1967) was an American FolkMusic singer, seen as one of the most powerful and influential musicians of his day. He was a major inspiration for a lot of [[ProtestSong protest singers]], among them Music/BobDylan, who saw him as his personal hero.

Woody Guthrie sang both traditionals as well as writing his own material. His songs are very left wing in nature and sympathize with the common man suffering under poverty, unemployment, racism, war, dictatorship and not being able to voice his opinions.

His SignatureSong, "This Land Is Your Land" is still a standard, though in the original context it was actually a ProtestSong instead of a PatrioticFervor song. He originally wrote it as a Take That to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America"[[note]]The revised version of "God Bless America" was released just two years before "This Land is Your Land" was[[/note]], responding to the song's nationalist undertones by singing about the importance of America's diversity and sense of inclusiveness. Hell, some early versions of the song are overtly political in nature—and a few of them even mention Guthrie's support of the Communist Party.

Woody Guthrie may also have written the earliest example of a ConceptAlbum, ''Music/DustBowlBallads'' (1940), which is a narrative album about the dust storms that caused havoc on the people during TheGreatDepression.

On his birthday, July 14, his hometown Okemah, Oklahoma still organizes an annual folk festival that carries his name. In 2002 a 1944 recording of "This Land Is Your Land" was inducted in the UsefulNotes/NationalRecordingRegistry.

His son, Music/ArloGuthrie, became a musician himself and is most famous for his album ''Music/AlicesRestaurant''.

'''Woody Guthrie albums with their own page'''

* ''Music/DustBowlBallads'' (1940)

!! Woody Guthrie's work provides examples of:
* AlliterativeTitle: "'''P'''astures Of '''P'''lenty", "This '''L'''and Is Your '''L'''and".
* AnswerSong: Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" was written as an answer to Music/IrvingBerlin PatrioticFervor song "God Bless America".
* AuthorTract: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballads_of_Sacco_%26_Vanzetti wrote an entire album]] protesting the bias that was shown in the landmark Sacco and Vanzetti trial, which took place about 20 years prior.
* BadassBoast: His guitar was famously labeled as "This Machine Kills Fascists".
* ConceptAlbum: ''Music/DustBowlBallads'' (1940) may be the earliest example of this genre, followed by ''Music/InTheWeeSmallHours'' (1955) by Music/FrankSinatra.
* CoverSong: He covered a lot of traditionals, like "House of The Risin' Sun", "When The Saints Go Marchin' In", "Polly Wolly Doodle",...
* DoubleEntendre:
** "Hard, Ain't It Hard". The Double Entendre is especially obvious as the first verse ends and the chorus begins:
--> ''And he takes other women right down on his knee''
--> ''And he tells them a little tale he won't tell me''
--> ''It's a-hard and it's hard, ain't it hard''
--> ''To love one who never did love you?''
** "Walt Whitman's Niece", written by Woody Guthrie and recorded by Music/BillyBragg with Music/{{Wilco}}, has several of these in its lyrics.
--> ''And as she read I laid my head''
--> ''And I can´t tell which head''
--> ''Down in her lap, and I can mention which lap''
* FilkSong: Guthrie wrote a song based on Tom Joad's motivational speech in ''Literature/TheGrapesOfWrath''.
* {{Hobos}}: Guthrie lived the hobo lifestyle in his younger years and referred to it in his work.
* JesusWasWayCool: "Jesus Christ" depicts Christ as a socialist rebel killed for speaking truth to power (and notably makes no reference to his resurrection).Guthrie also wrote a song called "Christ for President," later recorded by Wilco as part of Mermaid Avenue. President Christ promises "a job and pension for young and old."
* MyCountryTisOfTheeThatISting: "This Land Is Your Land", despite being seen as patriotic anthem was in fact written as a critical response to Music/IrvingBerlin's 1938 hit "God Bless America", which Guthrie thought ignored a lot of the problems going on in the country. The song includes lyrics talking about bread lines and class warfare. Then the first three verses were included in a school song book, and it spread as a patriotic ballad as a stealth torpedo, which exploded when Pete Seeger sang all the verses, as Woody wrote them, at Barack Obama's inauguration concert in 2009.
* PepTalkSong: He believed very much that music should give listeners hope and be uplifting.
* ProtestSong: The majority of Guthrie's songs were left-wing protest songs which sympathized with workers, unions and oppressed people everywhere.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: Guthrie's songs reflect the time they were written in. He wrote songs about WorldWarTwo, the Communist Witch Hunts near the end of the 1940s and early 1950s, the Afro-American civil rights movements, UsefulNotes/BillyTheKid, Pretty Boy Floyd,... He even wrote a song about the [[AmazonBrigade female Soviet sniper]] Lyudmila Pavlicenko.
* SecondVerseCurse: "This Land Is Your Land". The first verse is actually very patriotic, but the second verse, which is rarely sang is actually critical of the USA.
--> ''They put a big wall there, to try and stop me''
--> ''There was a sign there, said 'Private Property' ''
--> ''But on the back side, it didn't say nothin' ''
--> ''That side was made for you and me.''
* SomethingBlues: "Railroad Blues", "Dust Bowl Blues", "California Blues",...
* TakeThisJobAndShoveIt: Dramatized in the biopic about his life ''Film/BoundForGlory'', after his radio station tries to make him play non-controversial, non-political songs. The fact that it's The Great Depression and the radio job lifted his family out of poverty and got them a house does not bother Woody.
* ToTheTuneOf: "This Land Is Your Land" is based on the traditional folk song "Oh, My Loving Brother"
* ThreeChordsAndTheTruth: Famously said:
--> ''If you play more than two chords, you're showing off.''
* TrainSong: "This Train is Bound for Glory", sung by Woody in the movie, gave the real Woody Guthrie the title of his autobiography, ''Bound for Glory'', and thus gave a title to this film.

'''Woody Guthrie in popular culture'''
* Music/BobDylan's first two albums, ''[[Music/BobDylanAlbum Bob Dylan]]'' and ''Music/TheFreewheelinBobDylan'' are very influenced by his musical idol. Dylan sings in a similar drawl as Guthrie and "Song For Woody" is a {{Homage}}. On ''Music/Highway61Revisited'' the song "Tombstone Blues" has a line reffering to "Gypsy Davy", a Guthrie song:
--> ''Gypsy Davey with a blowtorch he bums out their camps''
** Dylan also wrote the poem "Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie" (1963), available in "The Bootleg Series, Volume 1-3" (1991).
* The 1976 film ''Film/BoundForGlory'', directed by Hal Ashby, starring David Carradine, is about Guthrie's career as a folk singer and union activist during UsefulNotes/TheGreatDepression. The film opens with Guthrie struggling to survive in the Dust Bowl in Texas in 1936. He struggles to find work as a singer or sign painter, but comes up empty. Needing to support his wife Mary and two children, Guthrie lights out to California, meeting people along the way and seeing the poverty and desperation afflicting so many in America in TheThirties.
* "Gonna Be A Blackout Tonight" and "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" by Music/DropkickMurphys are both based on an unfinished song by Guthrie.
* Music/OldCrowMedicineShow covered "Union Maid" on their 2006 album Big Iron World).
* Music/ThePogues covered Guthrie's song "UsefulNotes/JesseJames" on their album "Run, Sodomy & The Lash".
* The Mermaid Avenue albums by Music/BillyBragg and Music/{{Wilco}}, which set old unpublished Woody Guthrie lyrics to new music.
* In the odd Bob Dylan biopic ''Film/ImNotThere'' Woody Guthrie (Marcus Carl Franklin) is a black 11-year old boy traveling across America trying to find his place. He represents Dylan's MysteriousPast and lies.