Thursday, April 4, 2019

John Steinbeck's Foreward To Text of `Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People' Book: An Excerpt

`Grapes of Wrath' Author John Steinbeck
In the early 1940's, the novelist who wrote The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck, also wrote the following about the protest folk songs created by U.S. working-class people and about 20th-century protest folk singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie; in a Foreward to the early 1940's text of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Alan Lomax's Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People book:

"The songs of the working people have always been their sharpest statement...Working people sing of their hopes and of their troubles...You can learn more about people by listening to their songs than in any other way, for into their songs go all the hopes, and hurts, the angers, fears, the wants and aspirations...

"Woody is just Woody...He is just a voice and a guitar...There is nothing sweet about the songs he sings. But there is something more important for those who will listen. There is the will of a people to endure and fight against oppression..."

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