Woody Guthrie - This Land Is Your Land

First performance: 28/12/1980


Bruce covered the song 113 times and used it also as a snippet:
Mostly during The River Tour. Several of his live versions were officially released. 
2013-06-03 Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy
2012-10-18 Cuyahoga Community College, Parma, OH
Following the keynote speech, Bruce performs an intimate concert at Moody Theater, the theater and studio for Austin City Limits. Tickets were only available via raffle to festival badgeholders who applied on the South By Southwest website. The final warm-up show features a 24-song set with plenty of special guests. Jimmy Cliff shares the stage with Bruce & The E Street Band for three songs, surprisingly "Trapped" is not among them. "Many Rivers To Cross" was played regularly during the 1993 leg of the 1992-93 World Tour; "Time Will Tell" was also played on that tour and makes it's U.S. debut here. Also the "the harder they come" was plaued together with Bruce.The Animals' Eric Burdon performs with Springsteen for the first time in an appearance that was arranged following Bruce's passionate speech about The Animals' influence on his music. "This Land Is Your Land" (last played with the band at the closing show of the Born In The U.S.A. Tour) closes the set, with the accompaniment of Joe Ely, Alejandro Escovedo, Tom Morello, Garland Jeffreys, Arcade Fire, and The Low Anthem. "My City Of Ruins" includes "People Get Ready".

2009-05-03 Madison Square Garden, New York City
Pete Seeger celebrated his 90th birthday on 03 May 2009 with a concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY. Billed "The Clearwater Concert", the event was in support of Clearwater, an environmental group that Seeger founded in 1969 and whose mission is to preserve and protect the Hudson River, its tributaries and related bodies of water.
during the Barack Obama inaugural celebration concert "We Are One". The song was played in an acoustic guitar and percussion arrangement, with Pete Seeger, his grandson Tao Rodríguez-Seeger, and a large choir. 
2008-11-02 Lakeside Ave, Cleveland, OH
2008-10-06 Oestrike Stadium, Ypsilanti, MI
2008-10-05 Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
2008-10-04 Ben Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA
1996-09-29 Severance Hall, Cleveland, OH
Woody Guthrie tribute concert featuring numerous musicians and highlighted by Springsteen's first ever performance with folk icon Pete Seeger. The first six songs feature Springsteen solo or in the lead role. The last four songs feature Springsteen in a support/background role. Other performers from the night include Joe Ely, Arlo Guthrie, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Billy Bragg, Pete Seeger, Ani DiFranco, Dave Pirner, Indigo Girls, Country Joe McDonald, Jimmy LaFave, Paul Metsa, Syd Straw, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Tim Robbins (who introduces Bruce), Fred Hellerman, Peter Glazer, and Craig Werner.
TOM JOAD / BLOWIN' DOWN THIS ROAD (with Joe Ely) / OKLAHOMA HILLS (with Joe Ely , Arlo Guthrie, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott) / RIDING IN MY CAR / PLANE WRECK AT LOS GATOS (DEPORTEE) / ACROSS THE BORDER / HARD TRAVELIN' HOOTENANNY (with all performers) / I'VE GOT TO KNOW (with all performers) / HOBO'S LULLABY (with Pete Seeger) / THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND (with all performers)
Soundboard recordings of four of these performances—"Riding In My Car", "Plane Wreck At Los Gatos (Deportee)", "Hard Travelin' Hootenanny" and "This Land Is Your Land" (with Arlo Guthrie's story "'Til We Outnumber 'Em" superimposed)—were officially released in May 2000 on the various artists charity CD 'Til We Outnumber 'Em (Righteous Babe).

1985-10-02 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, LA
1985-09-30 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, LA
1985-09-27 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, LA
1985-09-23 Mile High Stadium, Denver, CO
1985-09-18 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, CA
1985-09-13 Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX
1985-09-09 Orange Bowl, Miami, FL
1985-09-06 Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis, IN
1985-09-04 Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, MI
1985-09-01 Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
1985-08-31 Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
1985-08-22 Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
1985-08-21 Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
1985-08-19 Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
1985-08-18 Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
1985-08-15 Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia, PA
1985-08-14 Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia, PA
1985-08-11 Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA
1985-08-09 Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
1985-08-07 Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, OH
1981-09-14 Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, OH
1981-09-13 Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, OH
1981-09-11 Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, IL
1981-09-10 Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, IL
1981-09-08 Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, IL
1981-09-02 San Diego Sports Arena, San Diego, CA
1981-08-28 Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, LA
1981-08-27 Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, LA
1981-08-24 Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, LA
1981-08-23 Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, LA
1981-08-21 Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, LA
1981-08-20 Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, LA
1981-08-17 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO
1981-08-16 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO
1981-08-12 Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI
1981-08-11 Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI
1981-08-07 Capital Centre, Largo, MD
1981-08-05 Capital Centre, Largo, MD
1981-08-04 Capital Centre, Largo, MD
1981-07-30 Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, OH
1981-07-29 Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, OH
1981-07-19 Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
1981-07-18 Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
1981-07-16 Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
1981-07-15 Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
1981-07-13 Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
1981-07-09 Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
1981-07-08 Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
1981-07-06 Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
1981-07-05 Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
1981-07-03 Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
1981-07-02 Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ
1981-06-14 Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA
1981-06-08 Birmingham International Arena, Birmingham, England
1981-06-07 Birmingham International Arena, Birmingham, England
1981-06-05 Wembley Arena, London, England
1981-06-04 Wembley Arena, London, England
1981-06-02 Wembley Arena, London, England
1981-06-01 Wembley Arena, London, England
1981-05-30 Wembley Arena, London, England
1981-05-29 Wembley Arena, London, England
1981-05-27 Brighton Centre (The), Brighton, England
1981-05-26 Brighton Centre (The), Brighton, England
1981-05-20 Bingley Hall, Stafford, England
1981-05-17 Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland
1981-05-16 Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland
1981-05-14 Apollo Theatre, Manchester, England
1981-05-13 Apollo Theatre, Manchester, England
1981-05-11 City Hall, Newcastle, England
1981-05-08 Johanneshovs Isstadion, Stockholm, Sweden
1981-05-07 Johanneshovs Isstadion, Stockholm, Sweden
1981-05-05 Drammenshallen, Drammen, Norway
1981-05-03 Scandinavium, Gothenburg, Sweden
1981-05-02 Brøndbyhallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
1981-04-29 Sportpaleis Ahoy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
1981-04-28 Sportpaleis Ahoy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
1981-04-26 Forest National, Brussels, Belgium
1981-04-24 Palais Des Sports De Gerland, Lyon, France
1981-04-21 Palau Municipal D'Esports, Barcelona, Spain
1981-04-19 Palais Des Sports De Saint-Ouen, Paris, France
1981-04-18 Palais Des Sports De Saint-Ouen, Paris, France
1981-04-16 Olympiahalle, Munich, West Germany
1981-04-14 Festhalle, Frankfurt, West Germany
1981-04-11 Hallenstadion, Zurich, Switzerland
1981-04-09 ICC Berlin, West Berlin, West Germany
1981-03-05 Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, IN
1981-03-04 Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY
1981-03-02 Hampton Roads Coliseum, Hampton, VA
1981-02-28 Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC
1981-02-26 Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, TN
1981-02-25 Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, TN
1981-02-23 Omni (The), Atlanta, GA
1981-02-22 Carolina Coliseum, Columbia, SC
1981-02-18 Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, FL
1981-02-15 Lakeland Civic Center, Lakeland, FL
1981-02-13 Humphrey Coliseum, Starkville, MS
1981-02-12 Municipal Auditorium, Mobile, AL
1981-02-07 Assembly Hall, Champaign, IL
1981-02-01 St. Paul Civic Center Arena, St. Paul, MN
1981-01-26 Athletic & Convocation Center, South Bend, IN
1980-12-31 Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
1980-12-29 Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
The liner notes indicate that the recording of "This Land Is Your Land" for the the Live 1975-85 box set is from this show, it's actually from the following night. 
  • Snippet  

Springsteen delivers the keynote speech at the South By Southwest music festival. Arriving on stage 35 minutes later than the scheduled 12pm, he begins by saying "Good morning. Why are we up so fucking early? How important can this speech be if we're giving it at noon, when every decent musician in town is asleep." He primarily speaks about his musical influences, singing one verse and the chorus of The Animals' "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" and leading the crowd in a partial singalong of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land". He also gives mention to Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, The Beatles, Sex Pistols, Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger during his hour-long speech before leaving the stage to a standing ovation. Video and audio of the speech were broadcast on the SXSW and NPR websites.


"This Land Is Your Land" is one of the United States' most famous folk songs. Its lyrics were written by American folk singer Woody Guthrie in 1940, based on an existing melody, a Carter Family tune called "When the World's on Fire", in critical response to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America." When Guthrie was tired of hearing Kate Smith sing "God Bless America" on the radio in the late 1930s, he sarcastically wrote "God Blessed America for Me" before renaming it "This Land Is Your Land."

Bruce on the artist

2021-05-13 Stone Hill Farm Colts, Neck, NJ 
Bruce received the Woody Guthrie Prize from the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on May 13 2021.
According to the Guthrie Center, Springsteen has "used his storytelling ability to write songs that connect with people who faced the hard times and celebrated the good times,".
"I’m honored to receive the 2021 Woody Guthrie Prize. Woody wrote some of the greatest songs about America’s struggle to live up its ideals in convincing fashion. He is one of my most important influences and inspirations."
2020-10-28 SiriusXM Studio, New York City
Bruce plays the song during episode 14 of his 'From My Home To Yours', titled "Farewell To The Thief". Bruce welcomes you to his Halloween/Election Day monster mash.
2012-03-15 Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
" I covered a lot of ground, but there was still something missing. So, somewhere in my late twenties I picked up Joe Klein’s "Woody Guthrie, A Life." And as I read that book, a world of possibilities that predated Dylan’s, that had inspired him, and lead to some of his greatest work, opened up for me. Woody’s gaze was – it was set on today’s hard times. But also, somewhere over the horizon, there was something. Woody’s world was a world where fatalism was tempered by a practical idealism. It was a world where speaking truth to power wasn’t futile, whatever its outcome. Why do we continue to talk about Woody so many years on, never had a hit, never went platinum, never played in an arena, never got his picture on the cover of Rolling Stone. But he’s a ghost in the machine – big, big ghost in the machine. And I believe it’s because Woody’s songs, his body of work, tried to answer Hank Williams’ question: why your bucket has a whole in it. And that’s a question that’s eaten at me for a long time. So, in my early 30s, his voice spoke to me very, very deeply. And we began to cover “This Land is Your Land” in concert. And I knew I was never gonna be Woody Guthrie. I liked Elvis, and I liked the Pink Cadillac too much. I like the simplicity, and the tossed–off temporary feeling of pop hits. I liked big, fucking noise. And in my own way, I like the luxuries and the comforts of being a star. I had already gone a long way down a pretty different road. So four years ago, I found myself in an unusual situation. It was a cold winter day, and I was standing alongside of Pete Seeger, and it was 25 degrees. Pete had come to Washington. Pete carries a banjo everywhere he goes – the subway, the bus – and comes out in his shirt. I said, “Man, Pete, put on a jacket, man, it’s freezing out here.” He’s ninety years old, a living embodiment of Woody’s legacy. And there were several hundred thousand of our fellow citizens in front of us. We had the Lincoln Memorial behind us and a newly–elected president to our right. And we were going to sing, “This Land is Your Land” in front of all these Americans. And Pete insisted, “We have to sing all the verses. We have to sing all the verses, man. You can’t leave any of them out.” I said, I don’t know, Pete, there’s only – we had, like, a crowd of six year old school kids behind us. He says, “No, we’re all gonna sing all the verses – all the verses. And, so we got to it."
A Vision Shared - A Tribute To Woody Guthrie And Leadbelly is a various artists benefit documentary and home video in support of Folkways Records and the Woody Guthrie Archives. Narrated by Robbie Robertson, it features interviews with and performances by leading folk, rock, and country recording artists including Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Little Richard, Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen, U2, and others. The documentary premiered on Showtime on 17 Sep 1988 and was released as a home video by Columbia Records later that year. It was originally issued on VHS and Laserdisc and in October 2000 it was reissued on DVD
This land is your land recorded in 2009. It was used in the 2009 documentary The People Speak, closing the film before the credits roll. The documentary was released on home video the following year. Released on 09 Feb 2010. Bruce Springsteen was inspired by the works of historian and activist Howard Zinn. In an interview published in the 15 Nov 2007 issue of Rolling Stone, he told Joe Levy: "Howard Zinn's A People's History Of The United States had an enormous impact on me. It set me down in a place that I recognized and felt I had a claim to. It made me feel that I was a player in this moment in history, as we all are, and that this moment in history was mine, somehow, to do with whatever I could. It gave me a sense of myself in the context of this huge American experience and empowered me to feel that in my small way, I had something to say, I could do something. It made me feel a part of history, and gave me life as a participant." The People Speak is a 2009 documentary narrated by historian Howard Zinn and is based on his books A People's History Of The United States and, with Anthony Arnove, Voices Of A People's History Of The United States. It premiered on History on 13 Dec 2009. The film weaves archival footage and interviews with musical performances and dramatic readings of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans throughout the country's history. Most of the movie was shot on location in front of a live audiences at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston, MA, in January 2008 and at the Malibu Performing Arts Center in Malibu, CA, in 2008. Other performances from around the country filmed in 2008 and 2009 were also used. For the film, Bruce Springsteen recorded two new solo acoustic renditions (guitar and harmonica) of The ghost of Tom Joad and Woody Guthrie's This land is your land.
The performances were filmed live at his home studio in New Jersey probably around early 2009. Interestingly, promotional footage for The People Speak shows that Howard Zinn was present at Springsteen's home when the two songs were recorded. This land is your land  was used in the documentary, closing the film before the credits roll, while The ghost of Tom Joad was posted on Bruce Springsteen's official website in January 2010. Later in 2009 a new version of The ghost of Tom Joad was recorded (in the same arrangement) and released exclusively on The People Speak soundtrack album.

The influence of Guthrie on Bruce is been well-documented.  He covered his signature song "This Land Is Your Land" all throughout the 1980s, and was directly inspired to record The Ghost of Tom Joad by Guthrie's work, especially "Tom Joad Blues." "There was always some spiritual center amid Woody's songs," Springsteen said in 1996. "He always projected a sense of good times in the face of it all. He always got you thinking about the next guy, he took you out of yourself. I guess his idea was salvation isn't individual. Maybe we don't rise and fall on our own." (source)
The ghost of Tom Joad was first of all inspired by John Ford's 1940 film adaptation of John Steinbeck's 1939 classic novel The Grapes Of Wrath. The references at the end of The Ghost Of Tom Joad album's credits list some of the source materials, including "John Ford's The Grapes of Wrath, written by Nunnally Johnson, based on the novel by John Steinbeck, a Twentieth Century-Fox film." Springsteen's song, however, is set in the 80's or 90's, with contemporary times being likened to Dust Bowl images. The song also takes inspiration from Woody Guthrie's 1940 song Tom Joad, which explores the novel's protagonist's life. In 1995, Springsteen got in touch with John Steinbeck's widow Elaine Steinbeck to ask permission to use the name of the character from The Grapes of Wrath.

In 2006 he recorded an acoustic version as a duet with Pete Seeger.
Emmylou Harris also shared vocals with Bruce on This Land Is Your Land appearing on the Folkways: A Vision Shared VHS and on the The People Speak soundtrack.
intro to the song:
Thanks. I'd like to uh... just take a second and thank everybody for coming down to the show tonight, thank you very much. ... Oh, I'd like to do a song for you, that I guess uh... is about the greatest song ever written about America. And it's by Woody Guthrie.... and what's so great about it is it gets, it gets right to the heart of the promise of what our country was supposed to be about. And I guess I don't know if you talk to some of the unemployed steelworkers from East L.A. or Pittsburg or Gary... there are a lot of people out there whose jobs are disappearing. I don't know if they feel this song is true anymore. And uh... I'm not sure that it is but I know, I know that it ought to be. So, uh, I'd like to do this for you reminding you that with countries, just like with people, it's easy to let the best of yourself slip away.


This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.
As I went walkin', I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said : 'No tresspassing'
But on the other side it didn't say nothin'
That side was made for you and me.
In the shadow of the steeple, I saw my people
By the relief office, I'd seen my people
As they stood hungry, I stood there askin'
If this land made for you and me ?
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking that freedom highway
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.
As I went walkin', I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said: 'No tresspassing'
But on the other side it didn't say nothin'
That side was made for you and me.
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.