When Harry Met Woody


When George Cha asked whether we'd get to hear any Woody Guthrie in this group, I hated to say no, but it's just too long a stretch from Woody to the Anthology. However, since Harry did see Woody Guthrie perform in Oakland (or San Francisco, depending on Harry's memory of the night) in 1942, I have all the excuse I need to put a song of Woody's on the blog.

Woody was a stay-at-home dad for a while during the late 1940s and early 50s, when he and his wife Marjorie Mazia (a dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company) lived on Mermaid Avenue on Coney Island with their children. Among the songs Woody wrote down during this period were the songs he sang to Arlo, Joady, Nora and Kathy.

Woody had some good advice about how we should relate to kids:

"Watch the kids. Do like they do. Act like they act. Yell like they yell. Dance the ways you see them dance. Sing like they sing. Work and rest the way the kids do.

You'll be healthier. You'll feel wealthier. You'll talk wiser. You'll go higher, do better, and live longer here amongst us if you'll only just jump in here and swim around in these songs and do like the kids do."

Here's The Car Song – think of Woody cruising down Mermaid Avenue with a car full of singing kids – and jump in and swim around with them!

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