I sing songs that people made up to help them to do more work, to get somewhere in this old world, to fall in love and to get married and to have kids and to have trade unions and to have the right to speak out your mind about how to make this old world a little bit better place to work in. I sing songs about people that are fighting with guns to win a world where you’ll have a good job at union pay, and a right to speak up, to think, to have honest prices and honest wages and a nice clean place to live in and a good safe place to work in. I even sing songs about getting nursery schools for little kids too young to play in the streets, and schools where all of the other kids can go to keep from playing their games under the garbage trucks. I don’t sing any songs about the nine divorces of some millionaire playgal or the ten wives of some screwball. I’ve just not got time to sing those kind of songs and I wouldn’t sing them if they paid me a thousand dollars a week
- Woody Guthrie
This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin' it without our permission will be mighty good friends of ourn cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do."
—Written by Guthrie in the late 1930s on a songbook distributed to listeners who wanted the words to his recordings