Of course, you’ve been singing the song around campfires and in school assemblies since kindergarten. But did you ever wonder about where those famous words originated from? Folksinger and songwriter Woody Guthrie wrote over 3,000 songs in his lifetime, including that famous one we all know by heart. Did you know that it actually started out as a protest song against “America the Beautiful”? Or that Guthrie was haunted all his life by what he believed to be a “fire curse” that killed several of his loved ones? Did you know that he lived the wandering life of a hobo, was married three times, helped orkers across the country set up unions, and inspired some of the greatest songwriters ever like Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan? Or that he died with who knows how many songs left in him at age 55 from Huntington’s Disease? You didn’t? Well, I guess you’d better read Elizabeth Partridge’s amazing biography and discover, like I did, that all of today’s modern musical roads lead back to Woody.