Entry count: 3315
Bob Dylan - This Land Is Your Land

Bob Dylan

This Land Is Your Land

Released: November 3rd, 1961

Tracks Bob Dylan

The events we write about at Gaslight Records happened in some form or another 50 years ago to the day. Roll along with us and imagine you are back in 1970.

Support Gaslight Records

Recorded live in late 1961 at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Dylan's cover of a song originally written by his hero and mentor Woody Guthrie, is a reminder of where America was placed at the time and somehow it still echoes a similiar sentiment fifty years on. Guthrie himself wrote the lyrics in the mid-forties, and put them to an existing traditional melody. The song, almost as famous as Dylan himself, has been covered by everyone from The Seekers to the Boss, and has even been used by Barack Obama as part of his 2008 Presidential campaign, demonstrating it's meaning and place in the fabric of American culture. Much like Waltzing Matilda is to an Australian audience… Maybe..? (footnote: Tom Waits 'Tom Traubert's Blues' is the best cover by anyone ever of Waltzing Matilda, off his 1976 album Small Change).

Bob Dylan - This Land Is Your Land
A 20 year old Bob Dylan in 1961

Dylan, accompanied by nothing but his voice, a guitar and a harmonica, treats the song with obvious reverence but still infuses it with his distinctive style. Sure, the guitar is out of tune and Dylan's voice arguably lacks the conviction and confidence he became famous for later on, but it's his rawness and honesty that carries everything so well – so much so that until the audience applauds you almost forget that it was a live take.

The lyrics have evolved over time to incorporate a number of themes of the American landscape and it's occupying people, but not many songs are as enduring, and this particular version stands as a reminder of humanity and of the American spirit, which Dylan has always managed to capture so poignantly.

Other versions of this track

More recent news

Norman Greenbaum releases 'Spirit In The Sky' from his debut album: Listen

News

December 30th, 1969: Norman Greenbaum releases "Spirit In The Sky" from his debut album: Listen

Greenbaum's sings the gospel on his new single

 
Watch The Jackson 5 perform single from their debut album on Ed Sullivan

News

December 23rd, 1969: Watch The Jackson 5 perform single from their debut album on Ed Sullivan

Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5 is the latest release from Motown

 
The Clancy Brothers have released a new album of Christmas songs: Listen

News

December 20th, 1969: The Clancy Brothers have released a new album of Christmas songs: Listen

Irish folk group, The Clancy Brothers have recorded 11 songs to bring a little joy to your Christmas

 
See photos from The Doors album cover shoot in Los Angeles today

News

December 18th, 1969: See photos from The Doors album cover shoot in Los Angeles today

The new Doors album is due for release early next year.

 
Four people died over the weekend at The Altamont Speedway Free Festival

Article

December 10th, 1969: Four people died over the weekend at The Altamont Speedway Free Festival

Here's the story of Altamont in quotes from many of the people involved.

 
The Rolling Stones have released a new studio album ahead of their free concert tomorrow at Altamont

News

December 5th, 1969: The Rolling Stones have released a new studio album ahead of their free concert tomorrow at Altamont

As The Stones finish their run of U.S. concert dates they have released their eighth album, Let It Bleed.

 
This summer Bob Dylan sat down for an interview with Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone magazine

Interviews

December 4th, 1969: This summer Bob Dylan sat down for an interview with Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone magazine

Read the transcript below of Dylan and Wenner's interview from June this year

 
Emmylou Harris covers Bob Dylan on debut album

News

December 3rd, 1969: Emmylou Harris covers Bob Dylan on debut album

Listen to Harris's cover of Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" from her album Gliding Bird

 
Peter Stone Brown covers Bob Dylan's 'She Belongs To Me'

Live At The Gaslight

Peter Stone Brown covers Bob Dylan's "She Belongs To Me"

Recorded in Atlantic City at Dylan Fest in 2015

 
Watch Roy Orbison perform 'Oh, Pretty Woman' with Johnny Cash last week

News

October 4th, 1969: Watch Roy Orbison perform "Oh, Pretty Woman" with Johnny Cash last week

Orbison appeared on The Johnny Cash Show in Nashville

 
Mixtape October 1969

Mixtapes

October 1st, 1969: Mixtape October 1969

It's the end of Summer 1969, here's what I'm listening to.

 
Tyrannosaurus Rex released a new single 'Pewter Suitor' this week - Listen

News

October 1st, 1969: Tyrannosaurus Rex released a new single "Pewter Suitor" this week - Listen

The new single was left off the band's album Unicorn, from earlier this year.

 
Loading more