Pete Seeger (1919-2014)

Mi Irieites, the message is the music. The man whose banjo “surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.” The world misses you already, Pete Seeger.

Just for further information, Pete Seeger became a very strange and interesting part of my life at an early age without me even realising it.

Songs like “If I Had a Hammer” and “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” were imprinted in my memory – back in the UK we treated them as nursery rhymes!  These songs were played on radio 2 and 4 while getting dressed to go to school.  We never realised that they were actually protest songs.  My acknowledgement came full circle when I was asked to do a seminar about protest songs onboard a “Jam Cruise” exactly a year ago.  As a result I decided to do some research on that subject only to stumble across these types of songs that were recognised as protest music.  In doing so I understood and respected the meaning of Pete Seeger and the many other contemporaries of his, including Woodie Guthrie, Lead Belly, Phil Ochs and Joan Baez.  Bob Dylan was already on my list.

But the most painful thing for me right now is that we have been trying, ever since my re-discovery, to meet this great man – but to no avail.  The chances became slimmer when we learned that he lost his wife a few months ago.

Pete, I wanted to tell you how much of an influence your music had on me at an early age and has now become even more potent knowing the tribulations you had to go through back in the  day when songs like yours were viewed as anti-establishment.

“When will they ever learn, when will they ever…… learn!

Pete Seeger (May 3, 1919 – Jan 27, 2014).

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