“This Land is Your Land” is simultaneously a patriotic hymn for schoolchildren, a rallying cry for immigrants, and, in Woody Guthrie’s original version, a sardonic protest song. But the message remains the same: America belongs to everyone, regardless of their background.
My variations aim to reflect the reality of America’s situation. Each variation grows more distant from the theme and more violent in character, until giving way to a prayer for forgiveness. We are left wondering, “Whose land is this land?”