Woody Guthrie

Hard, Ain't It Hard

Composed by Woody Guthrie

Song Review by

Woody Guthrie is one of the finest and most diverse performers of the 1940s, and arguably the most consistently inspired. His “Asch” recordings are considered by many folklorists to be the artist’s peak, and it was on these recordings where the stark power of his music is most apparent. “Hard, Ain’t It Hard” is typical of many of Guthrie’s songs of this period, with it’s evocation of the “dustbowl” of the mid-West and it’s focus on the harsh conditions juxtaposed with Guthrie’s insistent belief in the essential goodness and nobleness of the human spirit. Although not one of his absolute masterpieces, “Hard, Ain’t It Hard” is an excellent representation of Guthrie at the most productive stage of his career.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1964 Folkways
The Greatest Songs of Woody Guthrie 1972 Ace
Collection 1988 EMI Music Distribution
Worried Man Blues: Golden Classics, Pt. 1 1990 Collectables 2:41
Early Masters [Tradition] 1996 Tradition/Rykodisc / Rykodisc 2:40
Folk Hero 1996 Collector's Edition 2:43
This Land Is Your Land: The Asch Recordings, Vol. 1 1997 Smithsonian Folkways Recordings 2:41
Giants of the Folk Tradition, Vol. 1 1998
Various Artists
Tradition 2:40
The Asch Recordings, Vol. 1-4 1999 Smithsonian Folkways Recordings 2:41
The Woody Guthrie Story 2000 Import 2:39
Members Edition 2002 AAO Music / United Audio Entertainment 2:44
The Folk Collection 2003 Collectables 2:41
Best of the War Years 2003 Stardust Records 2:37
Forever Gold 2004 St. Clair 2:43
American Folk Legend 2005 Golden Stars 2:43
Worried Man Blues: The Best Of 2005 Goldenlane / Cleopatra 2:44
Genius of Folk 2005 St. Clair 2:43
This Land Is Your Land [Living Era] 2006 Living Era 2:36
This Land Is Your Land: The Original Dust Bowl Ballads and Other Folksongs 2006 Discmedi / Discmedi Blau 2:46
Hard Travelin' Man 2007 Rev-Ola Records 2:33
Original Folk: The Best of Woody Guthrie 2008 Demon Records / Music Club Deluxe / Music Club Records 2:42
This Machine Kills Fascists 2011 Cleopatra
Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial 2012 Smithsonian Folkways Recordings 2:45
No Image Grammercy Records 2:46
No Image
Various Artists
Mainstream 2:32
This Land is Your Land: A Centenary Tribute Retrospective
blue highlight denotes editor's pick