This May 3, 1919, marks what would’ve been Pete Seeger’s 100th birthday. A tireless advocate for social change whose affable personality endeared him to multiple generations, the banjo-wielding folk icon’s 2014 death was mourned by politicians and hit-making musicians alike.
In celebration of 100 years of Seeger, Smithsonian Folkways will release a six-disc anthology on May 3, 2019, that will include 19 unreleased/previously unheard songs – one of which premieres below.
It’s a 1976 live recording of Seeger performing Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” featuring plenty of ad-libs, self-awareness and two original verses that rarely get performed.
“Woody wrote a lot of verses that did not get in the school songbooks,” Seeger told the University of Tulsa crowd before tossing out lyrics about hungry people outside welfare offices. He also described verses others had added to Guthrie’s sing-along anthem, including one sung from a Native American perspective on how “this land was stole by you from me.”
Ahead of the release of Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection anthology (pre-order here), which follows similar releases celebrating 100 years of Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly by Smithsonian Folkways, check out this previously unreleased “This Land Is Your Land” below.