Woody Guthrie's New Year's Resolutions 1942


30 Responses to “Woody Guthrie's New Year's Resolutions 1942”

  1. Brainspore says:

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

    • millie fink says:

      Something to do with a motorcy . . . cle?

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

  2. HOTDAMN says:


  3. darnY says:

    Wake up and fight.

  4. Mitchell Glaser says:

    What terrific penmanship! I would never have guessed.

  5. teufelsdrochk says:

    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. 

  6. legotech says:

    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?

  7. captainjesse says:

    I think his penmanship could be influenced by his occupation as a sign painter.

  8. Manoj Nair says:

    The list has some funny and some thought provoking items. Good collection.

  9. millie fink says:

    “Learn people better.” 

    Damn straight.

  10. bill barminski says:

    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.

  11. justinfwest says:

    i love “wake up and fight”

  12. parrotboy says:

    Somehow ‘bed clothes’ just sounds so much cooler than ‘sheets’.

  13. carlos benjamin walker says:

    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!

  14. BijouxBoy says:

    You Guthrie fans will know this, but is Mary his ex missus? Way down at #24?

  15. Hunter Peress says:

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

    • dculberson says:

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

  16. SteveKiwi says:

    I’m going to use this list for 2012.

  17. Nash Rambler says:

    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.

  18. GP says:

    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…

  19. Tommer Peterson says:

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

  20. psulli says:

    He even wrote lists that read lyrical.

  21. Marko Raos says:

    “wash teeth if any”

  22. jimh says:


    I also like
    BO OK
    at the top

  23. usuallyconfused says:

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

  24. HogeyeGrex says:

    Hmm. Cuts off right before the infamous New Years Rulin’ 34.

  25. hcovitz says:

    Slightly bigger jpg http://hannamade.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/tumblr_lgbl39omaf1qclnauo1_1280.jpg

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