Happy Birthday, Pete Seeger

A live Letterman performance of “Take it From Dr. King” by Pete Seeger and friends, 2008:

Via the always elucidating Roger Ebert.

The amount of music Seeger has made in support of civil rights, cultural tolerance, non-violence, and environmental protection over the past century is epic. Songs he either composed or co-wrote include: “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” “If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song),” and “Turn, Turn, Turn!” He –in cahoots with Joan Baez– was also greatly responsible for popularizing the spiritual “We Shall Overcome” during the 60s.

Seeger was just shy of his 90th birthday at the time of the above Letterman performance, during which he intoned: “We sang about Alabama 1955, but since 9/11, we wonder, will this world survive? The world learned a lesson from Dr. King: we can survive, we can, we will, and so we sing. Don’t say it can’t be done; The battle’s just begun. Take it from Dr. King, you too can learn to sing, so drop the gun.”

He is 92 years young today.

Via Wiki: Pete Seeger entertaining Eleanor Roosevelt (center), honored guest at a racially integrated Valentine’s Day party marking the opening of a Canteen of the United Federal Labor, CIO, in then-segregated Washington, D.C. Photographed by Joseph Horne for the Office of War Information, 1944.

2 Responses to “Happy Birthday, Pete Seeger”

  1. Tertiary Says:

    Personally, I think it’s really hilarious that when Pete Seeger was thought to be a dangerous dissident, people decided it was okay for him to sing songs to children. To children! HAHAHAH! Someone wasn’t thinking clearly there.

    He’s awesome, and the real deal.

  2. Etaoin Shrdlu Says:

    Personally, I think it’s really hilarious that people think Pete Seeger was awesome and the real deal. Well, he was an awesome, real deal Stalinist, calling FDR a warmonger lackey of JP Morgan. Until Hitler broke the German-Soviet Union alliance and invaded Germany, that is, and then (in song) he wanted FDR to give him a gun. But then when the war was over he became anti-war again.

    But, awesomely enough, he didn’t cop to it until 1993.

    He also thought the Rosenbergs were innocent and Fidel Castro was a friend of the poor.

    When he finally did cop to it, he said, in a letter:

    “the basic mistake was Lenin’s faith in [Party] DISCIPLINE!”

    There’s a mistake more basic than that, but some people can’t see it.