Woody Guthrie's New Years Rulin's, 1942

Photo of Woody Guthrie's journal entry from 1942 containing his New Year's Rulin's

We hope you're off to a wonderful 2015 and have already begun slipping from your New Year's resolutions. Sure it's great to set concrete goals, visualize the life you want to lead, and make plans. But New Year's resolutions? They never stick. In that spirit, we give you Woody Guthrie's New Years Rulin's, 1942. I doubt he accomplished all of these in 1942, but he was a prolific, brilliant songwriter, so maybe that "Write a Song a Day" rulin stuck.

Notice how concise and active Woody writes. Each rulin starts with a verb and contains only a few, economical words. The man knew how to write. Our favorites include:

  • WASH TEETH IF ANY
  • DRINK VERY SCANT IF ANY
  • WRITE A SONG A DAY
  • CHANGE BED CLOTHES OFTEN
  • STAY GLAD
  • HAVE COMPANY BUT DON’T WASTE TIME
  • LOVE EVERYBODY
  • WAKE UP AND FIGHT
Here's the full transcript:
  1. WORK MORE AND BETTER
  2. WORK BY A SCHEDULE
  3. WASH TEETH IF ANY
  4. SHAVE
  5. TAKE BATH
  6. EAT GOOD - FRUIT - VEGETABLES - MILK
  7. DRINK VERY SCANT IF ANY
  8. WRITE A SONG A DAY
  9. WEAR CLEAN CLOTHES - LOOK GOOD
  10. SHINE SHOES
  11. CHANGE SOCKS
  12. CHANGE BED CLOTHES OFTEN
  13. READ LOTS GOOD BOOKS
  14. LISTEN TO RADIO A LOT
  15. LEARN PEOPLE BETTER
  16. KEEP RANCHO CLEAN
  17. DON’T GET LONESOME
  18. STAY GLAD
  19. KEEP HOPING MACHINE RUNNING
  20. DREAM GOOD
  21. BANK ALL EXTRA MONEY
  22. SAVE DOUGH
  23. HAVE COMPANY BUT DON’T WASTE TIME
  24. SEND MARY AND KIDS MONEY
  25. PLAY AND SING GOOD
  26. DANCE BETTER
  27. HELP WIN WAR - BEAT FASCISM
  28. LOVE MAMA
  29. LOVE PAPA
  30. LOVE PETE
  31. LOVE EVERYBODY
  32. MAKE UP YOUR MIND
  33. WAKE UP AND FIGHT

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