This Land Is Whose Land?

Times and priorities change. Woody Guthrie hailed Lewis and Clark for finding a place to build dams. Today his tune might be different

Woody Guthrie sang about Lewis and Clark country. Instead of his usual hobo's plainsong, Guthrie broke into an anthem that might have been written by the National Association of Manufacturers: "Roll on, Columbia, roll on/Roll on, Columbia, roll on/Your power is turning our darkness to dawn/So roll on, Columbia, roll on." Guthrie ardently wired up the dawn of Manifest Destiny to hydroelectric power: "Tom Jefferson's vision would not let him rest/An empire he saw in the Pacific Northwest/Sent Lewis and Clark and they did the rest/So roll on, Columbia, roll on." The beautiful, wild river made Guthrie see factories and dams...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!