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Wilco & Billy Bragg - California Stars

The lyrics to this song were written by Woody Guthrie, but Guthrie never recorded it or wrote music down for it. No exact date is known for the lyrics - it could have been anytime from the 1940s until his death in 1967, although Guthrie had a long illness and could not hold a pencil in his later years.

Although Guthrie's recording career was more or less over by 1947, his estate approached Billy Bragg in 1995 to set Woody's handwritten, unrecorded lyrics to music. Thus the song is a collaboration piece that took place 30 years after Guthrie died. Simple and direct, Guthrie's words paint a picture of sleeping beneath the beautiful California stars, and the lovely dreams that follow.

April 11, 2014 by Jules Sylvestre