I happened to be walking past a record store (remember those? they were nice) on the day the album was released. Since we are planning to go and see Neil when he comes to town later this fall, I popped in and bought the CD. I hadn't heard anything about the album, so when we played it a few days later I was blown away.
Neil has really created something special this time. His dark renditions of songs we all grew up singing give you chills and get stuck in your head for a long time. In the past few weeks I have caught myself singing "Oh Susanna", "Clementine" and even "God Save the Queen". But the song that has grabbed me and spoken to me has been "This Land is Your Land".
I think we are all familiar with this old Arlo Guthrie song, and learned to sing it in school. I was surprised to find out that even Canadians have their own version. Hearing Neil's version, I realized I had never learned all of the verses.
- As I went walking I saw a sign there
- And on the sign it said "No Trespassing."
- But on the other side it didn't say nothing,
- That side 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.
- 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?
"Nobody living can ever stop me." I have had to think about that phrase a lot lately. Sometimes you find yourself in a situation with irrational people. People who are so entrenched in their own belief system that they can not (and will not) see any other view but their own. People who are so blind to the truth that they will scream at you to "SHUT UP" rather than look around and see what is really happening.
Over the past few weeks I have been in that situation a number of times and my response has been to let them rant and carry on instead of trying to reason with them. In the past I would have kept insisting that they were wrong and I was right, but no longer. My views and ideas have nothing to do with what 'they' think and believe. I can not control other people just as I will not allow myself to be controlled by others. It isn't always easy to walk away from situations like these, but it is worth it and necessary for self-preservation.
|This land was made for you and me|