01 February 2014

RIP Pete Seeger

Might be hard to believe given my 'eclectic' taste in music that now leans hip-hop/Top 40s, but I used to listen to really thoughtful, soulful music... Stuff that you can't twerk to.The lyrics were mostly political and social commentary about decades gone by and references to things that were happening in my parents' generation.

There were so many great artists from that era-- Bob Dylan, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Peter, Paul & Mary, Neil Young being among the best in my book. Earlier this week, the world lost the legendary Pete Seeger. At age 94, Seeger was a songwriter and activist for some causes that don't align with my views... and some that I wholeheartedly support like Clearwater.

It was undeniably a different time in this country when he wrote his best music, and his contributions to folk music cannot be diminished. Nor can his influence on my younger years. I grew up listening to many of Seeger's songs. Big T is perhaps the greatest Kingston Trio fan alive, and the Trio recorded many of Seeger's songs including "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" I can remember Big T making me listen to that song on repeat...before it was repeat, and you had to lift the arm of the record player to listen to a song again. And if I've seen the Peter, Paul and Mary's 25th Anniversary Special once, I've seen it twenty times in my life. The set list includes many Seeger songs.

Seeger used his voice to stand up for what he believed, and his words and actions demonstrated that he did deeply care for America. His idealism and optimism drove his activism. But it was his political persuasions that made him the target of US authorities. At a hearing of the US House Committee of Un-American Activities. At the hearing, Seeger stated: “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.”

Seeger- Un-American? I disagree. What's more patriotic than exercising your rights?

RIP Pete Seeger

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