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Wednesday
Jan292014

Pete Seeger has them singing along, wherever he is

American folk icon Pete Seeger passed away on January 27, 2014 at 94 years old.

Pete was more than America’s beloved folklorist and singer, he was a nonviolent troubadour waging world peace and justice, a balladeer to save the environment for future generations and a defender of labor from greedy bosses. He put his body and his melodic voice on the same line his songs proclaimed whether it was in the hobo jungle, the vineyard, on the picket line, union hall or concert hall.  Now, as he did on solid ground, Pete has that heavenly choir already singing along in three-part harmony.

We will remember Pete and his banjo as part of the clarion call for a halt to nuclear power on the construction site of New Hampshire’s Seabrook nuclear power plant in 1978 in a gathering of 20,000 protesters before the meltdowns at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima. He persisted for decades calling for the now nearer closing of New York’s Indian Point nuke on the shore of his cherished Hudson River.

Pete had his banjo emblazoned with the motto “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.” It was this love of all life and freedom that taught us, inspired us with “‘do-so’ is more important that ‘say-so,’” often with a forgotten verse from a popular folk song. 

One such verse, from “This Land is Your Land” belongs evermore to Pete, now:

“Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.”

So long, Pete, it’s been good to know you.  We miss you.