Share the Land
The Guess Who: Share the Land
Quiz by Sharon Michiko Yoneda
artists: The Guess Who
songwriters: Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings
date released: in 1970 by The Guess Who
Like truth, lyric interpretation is in the mind of the listener. There are several interpretations on the internet which prod and provoke.
"Share the Land" was recorded after a rupture in the group stemming from Randy Bachman's conversion to Mormonism. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the "Mormon" church) owns a lot of land, but most of it is open to the public. Most of the church buildings and temples owned by the Church have beautifully landscaped grounds that are always open to the public. Food produced from church operated farms, orchards, and ranches is available to anyone in need, regardless of their religious affiliation.
Because of the rift between Cummings and Bachman, one might then interpret that "sharing the land" as indicative of a subtext of division and taking a stake of ownership of music rights, artistic development, etc. This was the last year [1970} that The Guess Who would perform as the original group.
An alternative view is suggested by the First Nations man on the cover of the album. Could native land rights be argued as a source of the Bachman-Cummings muse?
At any rate, "Share the Land" has not aged well, but is still worthy of inclusion on any Guess Who anthology.