Woody Guthrie’s New Year Rulin’s

New Year’s resolutions from Woody Guthrie’s notebook 1943.  It was an interesting time; the world was at war, America was coming out of an economic depression coupled with huge crop failures and sleazy bank practices, and the Guthries had made their way West to California with record numbers of displaced migrants looking for a better life.

1. Work more and better

2. Work by a schedule

3. Wash teeth if any

4. Shave

5. Take bath

6. Eat good – fruit – vegetables – milk

7. Drink very scant if any

8. Write a song a day

9.  Wear clean clothes – look good

10. Shine shoes

11. Change socks

12. Change bed clothes often

13. Read lots good books

14. Listen to radio a lot

Some are personal but most of these transfer well to anybody.  We all need improvement…

15. Learn people better

16. Keep ranch clean

17. Don’t get lonesome

18. Stay glad

19. Keep hoping machine running

20. Dream good

21. Bank all extra money

22. Save dough

23. Have company but don’t waste time

24. Send Mary and kids money

25. Play and sing good

26. Dance better

27. Help win war – Beat Fascism

28. Love Mama

29. Love Papa

30. Love Pete

31. Love everybody

32. Make up your mind

33. Wake up and fight

Woody, Pete, and Some Hand-Made Music

petenwoody

Woody Guthrie (fiddle) with Pete Seeger (banjo).

“What are ears? What is Time? that this particular series of sounds called a strain of music, … can be wafted down through the centuries from Homer to me, and he have been conversant with that same aerial and mysterious charm which now so tingles my ears? What a fine communication from age to age, of the fairest and noblest of thoughts, the aspirations of ancient men, even such as were never communicated by speech!”  Henry David Thoreau.

One of Woody Guthrie's final performances before the onset of Huntington's Chorea. Back to his fiddling roots.

One of Woody Guthrie’s final performances before the onset of Huntington’s Chorea. Back to his fiddling roots.  Photographs by Leonard Rosenberg.

More images from this session can be seen HERE.