Woody Guthrie's New Year's Resolutions 1942

(Thanks, Lou!)


  1. Years later his son Arlo wrote a list of things he wanted to do but it only had one goal. (Hint: not a pickle.)

    1. Something to do with a motorcy . . . cle?

      (If so, I thought that was a list of things he DIDN’T want to do. . . )

  2. Mate, simply put: this is why I come here. 

    Love Guthrie, and here’s a pic which illuminates both the everyday live of Woody, and the everyday life of me. 

  3. Arlo likes to tell stories about his dad writing, they have TONS of stuff he’s written that they are starting to set to music…from Arlo’s stories, I think “write a song a day” is something he didn’t have to work on…Arlo likes to say that Woody would write constantly, papers, notebooks, placemats, napkins, tablecloths, pillowcases, people if they didn’t move fast enough :)

    Is this from a cache of Woody’s writings posted someplace?

  4. penmanship is a lost art.  When you see his note book you see this type of perfect art form. 

    and “don’t get lonesome”  well, that makes you feel lonesome just to read it.

  5. reminds me of monk’s rules, my favorites being:

    – what should we wear? sharp as possible!
    – make the drummer sound good

    and of course

    – dont play the piano part, im playing that.
    – they tried to get me to hate white poeple, but someone always would always come along and spoil it!

  6. Finally. An interesting, cute tidbit that’s not ultra-weird counter culture, ultra heady literary stuff, or Doctorow pimpin’ his book.

    1. Wow, I think you have perfected the art of the back-handed compliment.  Congrats, you must be a huge hit at parties.

  7. I’m wondering if #30, “Love Pete,” refers to Pete Seeger?  They both would have been in the Almanac Singers around that time.  #33, “Wake Up and Fight,” is probably a direct reference to WWII – the bombing of Pearl Harbor would have occured just a few weeks before this was penned.

  8. work more and better, work by a schedule, eat healthy, look good, read loads, write a song a day… All this sounds very familiar. I never realized to-do lists could come with 75% of the tasks already pre-printed. 

    Now that I do perhaps I can tick off  my own # 61: invent something that will make me rich…

  9.  Mark. Can you share the source of this?  I am interested in chasing down rights to publish it elsewhere. Thanks!

  10. Posts like these are the reason that Boing Boing continues to be ” A Directory of Wonderful Things”

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