Music

Woody Guthrie’s seasonal songs

Woody Guthrie’s second wife Marjorie was Jewish, and he developed a fondness for Jewish holidays and customs.

The klezmer band the Klezmatics has released an album of songs he wrote for Hanukkah, which began Friday night. Of special note is “The Many and the Few” (lyrics here), which tells the Hanukkah story as only Woody could.

(Warning: Includes depictions of extreme violence and religious faith, as well as suspiciously Zionist sympathies. Hat tip: National Public Radio.)

Three years ago, on the 90th anniversary of the Christmas-eve Italian Hall disaster in Calumet, Michigan, I linked to a website remembering the tragedy and featuring Woody’s great song about it. While some have questioned the role of company thugs in those events, Woody had no doubt– which of course makes the song all the more powerful.

(Warning: Includes class consciousness and anti-capitalist sentiments.)

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