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Folk singer Woodie Guthrie

Dance better, to beat Fascism: Woody Guthrie’s 33 New Year’s Resolutions


A legend of American folk music shares his practical and utopian vision of the world.

Fans of folk and protest songs know Woody Guthrie, born in Oklahoma in 1912, and author of the famous “This Land Is Your Land.” Guthrie would be the inspiration for many musical idols of the last century, from Bob Dylan – who dedicated a song to “Song to Woody,” and even visited him in the hospital in the 1960s – to Joe Strummer from The Clash and Bruce Springsteen.

As a kind of self-advice and determination to start the year, Guthrie wrote 33 resolutions on January 1, 1943. These can serve as inspiration, for pondering at any time of the year; what do we want to do with our lives? From the most basic and trivial aspects (such as personal hygiene) on up to the highest of human ideals.

1. Work more and better 2. Work by a schedule
3. Wash teeth if any
4. Shave
5. Take bath
6. Eat good — fruit — vegetables — milk
7. Drink very scant if any
8. Write a song a day
9. Wear clean clothes — look good
10. Shine shoes
11. Change socks
12. Change bed cloths often
13. Read lots good books
14. Listen to radio a lot
15. Learn people better
16. Keep rancho clean
17. Dont get lonesome
18. Stay glad
19. Keep hoping machine running
20. Dream good
21. Bank all extra money
22. Save dough
23. Have company but dont waste time
24. Send Mary and kids money
25. Play and sing good
26. Dance better
27. Help win war — beat fascism
28. Love mama
29. Love papa
30. Love Pete
31. Love everybody
32. Make up your mind
33. Wake up and fight

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