Bernie Sanders Sings 'We Shall Overcome,' 'This Land is Your Land' for Burlington Label

By Ian Holubiak on Oct 06, 2015 07:59 PM EDT
Bernie Sanders Sings 'We Shall Overcome,' 'This Land is Your Land' for Burlington Label Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a news conference on better wages for workers, on Capitol Hill October 6, 2015 in Washington, DC. Sanders held the news conference to introduce legislation designed to make it easier for workers to join together and bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions. (Photo : Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

With musicians in strife over their songs being inadvertently associated with certain political front runners, Bernie Sanders may be able to avoid the controversy. The Vermonter-Socialist can simply use his own Burlington-based label recording of "We Shall Overcome" and even the Guthrie classic "This Land is Your Land."

There is something rather quaint about Bernie's rendition of the folk standard. He may not be able to hold a tune, sure, but there is a sense of earnestness in the recording that makes it worth listening to.

Todd Lockwood, a Burlington-based author-musician, recounted the recording sessions to Seven Days, also citing Sanders' ambition to be musical as a pipe dream:

"As talented of a guy as he is, he has absolutely not one musical bone in his body, and that became painfully obvious from the get-go. This is a guy who couldn't even tap his foot to music coming over the radio. No sense of melody. No sense of rhythm - the rhythm part surprised me, because he has good rhythm when he's delivering a speech in public."

Nonetheless, in 1987, as it's been noted, while serving as Burlington's mayor, Sanders recorded an album of folk classics for the now-defunct BurlingTown Recordings label.

Regardless of the political pundit's lack of musicality, though, the records were among the more popular ones the label produced that year. A few hundred cassette tapes, if you can believe it, were sold at record stores throughout Vermont.

Conservatives even bought them as gag gifts.

While it's certainly worth a listen, we are glad that these recordings were made public and, now, we can only hope they will be used appropriately in Sanders' run for the nomination.

Thus, here is "We Shall Overcome" as "sung" by Mr. Bernie Sanders himself.

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TagsBernie Sanders, Woody Guthrie, This Land is Your Land, We Shall Overcome

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