Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of Woody Guthrie quotes and sayings on music, politics, communism, folk music, songs, peace, war etc.

54 Woody Guthrie Quotes On Politics & Power Of Folk Music

Quick Facts

Famous As: American singer-songwriter

Born On: July 14, 1912

Died On: October 3, 1967

Born In: Oklahoma

Died At Age: 55

Woodrow Wilson Guthrie, better known as Woody Guthrie, was a celebrated American singer, musician and songwriter. His work proved an inspiration for many contemporary legends such as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Joe Strummer, Tom Paxton and many more. Guthrie established his stature as a legend of Folk music through numerous traditional and children’s songs. Guthrie’s iconic track ‘This Land Is Your Land’ and several other recordings also featured in the Library of Congress. This leader of American Folk movement was also famous for his slogan carved on his guitar- ‘This machine kills fascists’. Majority of his songs were based on the struggles and hardships the farmers faced during ‘the Great Depression’ and ‘Dust Bowl Era’ of the United States. After suffering from complications of Huntington's disease, he passed on the baton of his folk music legacy to his son, Arlo Guthrie. Let us go through some of the quotes from this legend of American music culture.

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Take it easy, but take it.

Woody Guthrie

It's a folk singer's job to comfort disturbed people and to disturb comfortable people

Woody Guthrie

I would like to see every single soldier on every single side, just take off your helmet, unbuckle your kit, lay down your rifle, and set down at the side of some shady lane, and say, nope, I aint a gonna kill nobody. Plenty of rich folks wants to fight. Give them the guns.

Woody Guthrie

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 for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you.

Woody Guthrie

Was a great high wall there that tried to stop me. Was a great big sign there said private Property but on the back side it didn't say nothing. That side was made for you and me.

Woody Guthrie

Life has got a habit of not standing hitched. You got to ride it like you find it. You got to change with it. If a day goes by that don't change some of your old notions for new ones, that is just about like trying to milk a dead cow.

Woody Guthrie

If we fix it so's you can't make money on war, we'll all forget what we're killing folks for.

Woody Guthrie

Some men rob you with a six-gun -- others rob you with a fountain pen.

Woody Guthrie

I love a good man outside the law, just as much as I hate a bad man inside the law.

Woody Guthrie

The note of hope is the only note that can help us or save us from falling to the bottom of the heap of evolution, because, largely, about all a human being is, anyway, is just a hoping machine.

Woody Guthrie

The best way to get to know any bunch of people is to go and listen to their music.

Woody Guthrie

There's several ways of saying what's on your mind. And in states and counties where it ain't too healthy to talk too loud, speak your mind, or even vote like you want to, folks have found other ways of getting the word around. One of the mainest ways is by singing.

Woody Guthrie

Life has a habit of not staying hitched. You got to ride it like you find it.

Woody Guthrie

I better quit my talking 'cause I told you all I know But please remember, pardner, wherever you may go The people are building a peaceful world, and when the job is done, That'll be the biggest thing that man has ever done.

Woody Guthrie

Life's pretty tough . . . you're lucky if you live through it.

Woody Guthrie

I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that.

Woody Guthrie

Love is the only medicine I believe in.

Woody Guthrie

One day we'll all find out that all of our songs was just little notes in a great big song!

Woody Guthrie

Anyone who used more than three chords is just showing off.

Woody Guthrie

You can't write a good song about a whorehouse unless you've been in one.

Woody Guthrie

Left wing, chicken wing, it don't make no difference to me.

Woody Guthrie

Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.

Woody Guthrie

The words are the important thing. Don't worry about tunes. Take a tune, sing high when they sing low, sing fast when they sing slow, and you've got a new tune.

Woody Guthrie

Left wing. Right wing. Chicken wing.

Woody Guthrie

A folk song is what's wrong and how to fix it or it could be who's hungry and where their mouth is or who's out of work and where the job is or who's broke and where the money is or who's carrying a gun and where the peace is.

Woody Guthrie

I ain't a communist necessarily, but I been in the red all my life.

Woody Guthrie

This machine kills fascists.

Woody Guthrie

A song ain't nothing but a conversation fixed up to where you can talk it over and over without getting tired of it.

Woody Guthrie

I worked in your orchards of peaches and prunes. I slept on the ground in the light of the moon. On the edge of the city you'll see us and then, we come with the dust and we go with the wind.

Woody Guthrie

You oil field workers, come and listen to me I'm goin' to tell you a story about old John D. That company union made a fool out of me. That company union don't charge no dues It leaves you a-singing them Rockefeller blues. That company union made a fool out of me. Takes that good ole C.I.O., boys To keep that oil a-rollin', rollin' over the sea. Takes that good ole C.I.O., boys To keep that oil a-rollin' over the sea.

Woody Guthrie

Now as through this world I ramble, I see lots of funny men, Some rob you with a six gun, And some with a fountain pen.

Woody Guthrie

Let me be known as just the man that told you something you already knew.

Woody Guthrie

My eyes has been my camera taking pictures of the world and my songs has been my messages that I tried to scatter across the back sides and along the steps of the fire escapes and on the window sills and through the dark halls...

Woody Guthrie

The world is filled with people who are no longer needed. And who try to make slaves of all of us. And they have their music and we have ours. Theirs, the wasted songs of a superstitious nightmare. And without their music and ideological miscarriages to compare our songs of freedom to, we'd not have any opposite to compare music with --- and like the drifting wind, hitting against no obstacle, we'd never know its speed, its power....

Woody Guthrie

One bright sunny morning in the shadow of the steeple, by the Relief Office, I saw my people -As they stood hungry, I stood there wondering if God blessed America for me.

Woody Guthrie

This land is made for you and me.

Woody Guthrie

If you play more than two chords, you're showing off.

Woody Guthrie

Now as I look around, it's mighty plain to see, This world is such a great and a funny place to be. Oh, the gamblin' man is rich, an' the workin' man is poor, And I ain't got no home in this world anymore.

Woody Guthrie

It's round the world I've traveled; it's round the world I've roamed; but I've yet to see an outlaw drive a family from its home

Woody Guthrie

All about a human being is, it's a great big hoping machine.

Woody Guthrie

Anyone who uses more than two chords is just showing off.

Woody Guthrie

If you walk across my camera I will flash the world your story.

Woody Guthrie

The world is filled with people who are no longer needed -- and who try to make slaves of all of us -- and they have their music and we have ours.

Woody Guthrie

All you can write is what you see.

Woody Guthrie

I know the police cause you trouble They cause trouble everywhere But when you die and go to heaven You find no policeman there

Woody Guthrie

I got started in Oklahoma. That's where I was born. Population down there is one-third Indians, one-third Negroes and one-third white people.

Woody Guthrie

All of you cowboys, fight for your land.

Woody Guthrie

Okemah was one of the singingest, square dancingest, drinkingest, yellingest, preachingest, walkingest, talkingest, laughingest, cryingest, shootingest, fist fightingest, bleedingest, gamblingest, gun, club and razor carryingest of our ranch towns and farm towns, because it blossomed out into one of our first Oil Boom Towns.

Woody Guthrie

Left wing, right wing, chicken wing.

Woody Guthrie

If you want to learn something, just steal it.

Woody Guthrie

I have decided long ago that my songs and ballads would not get the hugs and kisses of the capitalistic experts.

Woody Guthrie

I ain't a Communist necessarily, but I have been in the red all my life.

Woody Guthrie

Do Re Mi California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see, But believe it or not, you won't find it so hot If you ain't got the do re mi

Woody Guthrie

Nobody living can ever stop me. As I go walking my freedom highway. Nobody living can make me turn back. This land was made for you and me.

Woody Guthrie