Pete Seeger dies at 94

Pete Seeger circa 2011
Pete Seeger performs at the Great Hudson River Revival in 2011 — photo by Jim Capaldi

I don’t cry when people I don’t know die. Waking up to the death of Pete Seeger makes me cry. As mean and stupid a place as the United States has become, it’s smarter and kinder for Pete Seeger having fought the good fight for the last 70 years. If you don’t know much about him, take this opportunity to learn how much he’s done.

Seeger was a politically engaged person, but that was just a byproduct of his approach to music and life. For him, music was a connection to other people, and every Pete Seeger concert was as much his way to get people singing as it was an opportunity to sing himself. His introduction to the amazing songbook Rise Up Singing is a perfect example of his philosophy:

Once upon a time, wasn’t singing a part of everyday life? As much as talking, physical exercise and religion. Our distant ancestors, wherever they were in this world, sang while pounding grain, paddling canoes or waking long journeys. Nowadays we tend to put all these things in boxes.

Can we begin to make our lives once more ‘all of a piece?’

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