for There Ain't Nobody That Can Sing Like Me by Anne E. Neimark
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back;
This land was made for you and me."
We still sing his songs. We still hum his tunes. And many of us still heed his message. Woody Guthrie, the political hillbilly and hayseed minstrel, has become part of the patchwork dreams and social conscience that compose America. His songs have been passed along from person to person to become modern anthems of hope and survival through challenging times.
Behind Woody's music, however, was a life that was a tragedy, comedy, passion play, and soap opera in one. He traveled from state to state and marriage to marriage, battled catastrophic fires and debilitating disease, singing all the way in saloons and on street corners, in junkyards and on picket lines. A modern-day troubadour, Woody never let go of the voice of the people -- the outcasts and outsiders rather than the "easy streeters" -- in search of the "freedom highway" that led straight from the heart of his songs to the land "for you and me."