Woody Guthrie’s New Year’s Resolutions

By | December 30th, 2011 | 3 Comments

The image below shows folk singer Woody Guthrie’s resolutions for 1942, written in his notebook weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States entered World War II, thus, resolution no. 27: “Help Win War — Beat Fascism”. Not all of Guthrie’s 33 “New Years Rulin’s” were so solemn. There were also hygienic pledges — “Wash Teeth If Any”, “Shave”, “Take Bath” — and familial prompts: “Love Mama”, “Love Papa”, “Love Pete”. (Pete, judging by the doodle alongside the resolution, was Guthrie’s pooch.)

All in all, the list, from its self-admonishing beginning (“Work More And Better”) to its earnest end (“Wake Up And Fight”), is a testament to the wisdom, humor, and noble simplicity of one of America’s great songmen. My favorite resolution of the bunch: “Keep Hoping Machine Running.” As the clock winds down on another wild year, I will drink to that.

Woody Guthrie New Year's Resolutions
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3 Comments on “Woody Guthrie’s New Year’s Resolutions”

  1. 1 JL said at 1:17 pm on December 30th, 2011:

    “Pete,” I believe, was Guthrie’s pet name for his first daughter, not his dog!

  2. 2 arielle said at 1:28 pm on December 30th, 2011:

    I was assuming Pete was Pete Seeger.

  3. 3 Jordan Melnick said at 1:36 pm on December 30th, 2011:

    Arielle, I thought Pete Seeger, too, but then saw the doodle. It was his daughter? No one else sees a four-legged creature in that drawing?


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