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Woody Guthrie's Idea of a Good Song

I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good.  I hate a song that make you think that you are born to lose.  Bound to lose.  No good to nobody.  No good for nothing.  Because you are too old or ugly or too fat or slim or too ugly or this or 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 down a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are how your built.  I am out to sing songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.  And songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just like you.

I could hire out to the other side.  The big money died and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind of songs that know you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think 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