Unless, of course, it’s a case of a member of a prominent leftist Nomenklatura family seeking to enforce property rights, as one oblivious Yale alumnus from the Class of 1972 inadvertently reveals in this month’s Class Notes.
The most interesting thing I learned was that [PL]â€™s law firm represented Woody Guthrieâ€™s daughter Nora, fighting an unjustified attempt to put â€˜This Land Is Your Landâ€™ into the public domain. Woody wrote it in 1940. (It was originally titled â€˜God Blessed America For Meâ€™ in his manuscriptâ€”which Iâ€™ve seenâ€”as a protest against â€˜God Bless Americaâ€™ from Irving Berlinâ€™s jingoistic World War I musical, Yip, Yip, Yaphank and later recorded by Kate Smith to sell war bonds in the â€™40s.) It includes my favorite verse: â€˜As I went walking, I saw a sign there, And on the sign it said No Trespassing. But on the other side it didnâ€™t say nothing; that side was made for you and me.â€™ (Emphasis is my own: a very important, influential American protest song, not just a folk anthem.)
I guess “This Song Isn’t Your Song.”