HOLY HERETIC DEVOTIONAL – JAN. 18, 2017 – SHEROES & HEROES: ARTISTS
Compiled by Holy Heretic/Freelance Agent Benjamin Silas Foster
“I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim or too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling. I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you. I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind that knock you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think that you’ve not got any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I’d starve to death before I’d sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow.” -Woody Guthrie
Woody Guthrie is considered by many to be the patron saint of American folk protest music. Born in 1912, Guthrie experienced the dust bowl, and witnessed the great depression, first hand, and many of the songs he would write throughout his life are in response to the hardships faced by Guthrie and his family, and the era’s politics. Perhaps best known for his song ‘This Land Your Land,’ a hard hitting protest number that has been somewhat whitewashed throughout the years, Guthrie would often perform with his acoustic guitar trademarked by the logo ‘This Machine Kills Fascists’ inscribed on the body. Guthrie would not only write hundreds of protest songs in his time but would also serve as influence for generations of protest musicians to come such as Pete Seeger, Joe Strummer, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Morello, and many more.
In 2016 it was discovered Guthrie was a stout opponent of Fred Trump, father of president elect Donald Trump, as a landlord, and accused him of stirring up racial hate to further support his interests. Despite Guthrie’s declining health in his final days, he still preformed and maintained mentorships with artists that would go on to further develop protest folk music such as Bob Dylan and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot. Posthumously, Guthrie has continued to see attention and provide inspirations for new generations, including his being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and winning a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement in 2000.
Today’s Action: Guthrie lived a life filled up with protest, dissent artistry, and educating and bring up the next generation. Today take a moment to pray, meditate, and determine the best way to live a life in protest of the things that have been laid on your heart to combat spiritually.
Today’s Sharing: Share with us just how you plan to fight back and live your life in opposition to unfairness and injustice. Share with the community and with us online at facebook.com/holyhereticzine.