In doing research for a book that deals with property rights, I came across this missing verse from Woody Guthrie’s classic folk song, “This Land is Your Land.”
There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me;
Sign was painted, it said private property;
But on the back side it didn’t say nothing;
This land was made for you and me.
Guthrie wrote the lyrics in 1940. The earliest known recording of the song (a March 1944 version now part of the Smithsonian collection) includes the verse. Subsequent versions omit it.
What do you make of that?