Song Premiere: Liz Vice, “This Land Is Your Land”

Spare guitar fingerpicking creates a haunting tone on Liz Vice’s defiant, soaring, and plaintive recasting of Woody Guthrie’s classic. As Liz Vice recalls, “On a hot August day in 2017, just one day shy of the Unite The Right Rally one year anniversary, my friends Paul Zach, Orlando Palmer, and I decided to give Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land Is Your Land’ a lyrical update. It’s a reflection on the injustices taking place today while pointing out the wounded heel of America’s beginning.“

Vice’s minor chord version rings with a spaciousness that opens it poignantly into a lament: a lament for the unjust killings of black men and women and indigenous peoples by police brutality and unjust systemic racism. As the song opens Vice’s lone voice floats over the guitars, but the song soon swells to a chorus, riding over finger snaps, guitar, and piano. On the one hand, the song moves from the cry of one person to the cry of many; on the other, the song reminds us that we can achieve justice when we gather as a community and embrace the power of that community. Ultimately, though, Vice’s moving version reminds us that often when we sing about inclusion (“your land”) we glibly gloss over history and fail to hear the voices of those from whom the land as taken. Vice’s stirring version of the song inspires us to embrace her message: “There are a lot of reasons to celebrate being American but one thing that must first be talked about is the history. Healing can’t begin without first acknowledge the gaping wound created by the colonization, the mass genocide of the Indigenous people, and the enslavement of African slaves. There is still much work to be done.”


“This Land Is Your Land” is available for pre-save – HERE


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