Thursday, May 03, 2012

Happy Birthday, Pete

Pete_Seeger 6-16-07 Photo by Anthony PepitonePete Seeger is 93 today. Singer, songwriter, and long-time activist, he's still performing and still making us think, still wanting us to be better... In 2010 he co-wrote and performed a song "God's Counting on Me, God's Counting on You" with Lorre Wyatt, commenting on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It's below...

"I still call myself a communist, because communism is no more what Russia made of it than Christianity is what the churches make of it."

in front of HUAC: "I am not going to answer any questions as to my association, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private affairs. I think these are very improper questions for any American to be asked, especially under such compulsion as this."

"Most of my life I have assumed that the kind of songs I sing would not normally get played on the airwaves. I pointed to examples like Woody Guthrie's song, "This Land Is Your Land" to show that they don't have to get played on the airwaves. If it's a real good song, it will get spread around anyway."

On "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" and the Smothers Brothers show incident: "Of course, a song is not a speech, you know. It reflects new meanings as one's life's experiences shine new light upon it. (This song does not mention Vietnam or President Johnson by name.) Often a song will reappear several different times in history or in one's life as there seems to be an appropriate time for it. Who knows."

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At 11:09 AM, May 03, 2012 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

When I was little, Doug Pledger played records by The Weavers on KNBC-AM on his morning drive-time program, which is where I first heard Pete (although at that age I didn't really comprehend the McCarthy witchhunt yet). Later, "This Land Is Your Land" was popular among my teenaged cohort, especially at music camp singalongs around the campfire in the evening. And yes, we used to watch the Smothers Brothers TV show. BTW, did you ever see the documentary "Wasn't That A Time?" on PBS?

At 11:31 AM, May 03, 2012 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Did you sing all the verses? The sign, the relief office?

I did see that documentary, and really liked it.


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