->''"I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work."''
-->-- '''Woody Guthrie''' on songwritning

Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie (July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was an American FolkMusic singer, seen as one of the most powerful and influential musicians of his day, and a huge troublemaker against the forces of bullshit. He was a major inspiration for a lot of folk and [[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 Music/IrvingBerlin'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.

In 1998, a massive collection of lyrics he never set to music was recorded at last as a collaboration between Music/{{Wilco}} and Music/BillyBragg. His son, Arlo Guthrie, 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 "This Machine Kills Fascists".
* {{Biopic}}: ''Film/BoundForGlory''
* {{Bowdlerization}}: A lot of modern renditions of "This Land Is Your Land" omit the scathing verses.
* ConceptAlbum: ''Music/DustBowlBallads'' (1940) may be the earliest example of this genre, followed by ''Music/InTheWeeSmallHours'' (1955) by Music/FrankSinatra.
* CoverVersion: He covered a lot of traditionals, like "The House of The Rising Sun", "When The Saints Go Marching 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 Music/{{Wilco}} as part of ''Mermaid Avenue''. President Christ promises "a job and pension for young and old."
* LocationSong: "This Land Is Your Land" was originally a political song that invoked lovations in the USA. However, its more often performed now as children's music and has been adapted for other countries.
* 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.
* PosthumousCollaboration: In the late '90s, Music/BillyBragg and Music/{{Wilco}} took some unpublished Guthrie lyrics and set them to music, creating the ''Mermaid Avenue'' albums.
* 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 UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, the Communist Witch Hunts near the end of the 1940s and early 1950s, the civil rights movements, UsefulNotes/BillyTheKid, Pretty Boy Floyd,... He even wrote a song about the [[AmazonBrigade female Soviet sniper]] Lyudmila Pavlicenko.
* 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.
* ShoutOut: Plenty.
** 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 refering 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 "Rum, 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.