A time to be born, a time to die

January 28, 2014 at 9:20 am (good people, Rosie B)

Pace Jim, I like folk music.  I also admire Pete Seeger, a vigorous campaigner on the behalf of many causes and a man with a strong sense of public duty.

So here’s a Youtube clip.


  1. A time to be born, a time to die | OzHouse said,

    […] Jan 28 2014 by admin […]

  2. Keith Tanner said,

    My favourite folk singer. I was fortunate enough to see her at St Anne’s Manchester late last year. What a voice, what a fabulous singer. She is 74yrs old and her voice and range undiminished. I even held hands with her at the end of the performance! I did wash – much later. 😉

    • keith tanner said,

      When I wrote the above I did not realise that Pete Seeger had died. He was a true legend.

  3. Jim Denham said,

    A pretty fair critical assessment of the great man, by Paul Berman:
    H/t: Gene at ‘That Place’

    • R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

      Hendrik Hertzberg tweeted this 2008 piece: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/hendrikhertzberg/2008/01/banjo-revisioni.html

      Pete Seeger was wrong, terribly wrong, about the Soviet Union. But I doubt that one extra person died in the Gulag as a result, and if anyone ever truly suffered on his account, it would be the naïve innocents he attracted into the Party. (Anyway, the Soviet dream and its attendant nightmares have passed more or less peacefully into history, along with the passions it provoked on all sides.) On the other hand, an awful lot of good things have happened nearer to home because Pete Seeger made them happen. “We Shall Overcome” became the anthem of the civil-rights movement. Thousands of young men and women were recruited to causes like racial justice and opposition to the Vietnam War. The reach of American folk music was greatly extended. And the Hudson River is swimmable. The fish are jumping. Seeger blew it, big time, when he thought global, but when he acted local he did wonders. The “Banjo Bolshevik” (as I once titled a New Republic piece on him, to Marty Peretz’s delight) has become, inarguably, a singing sage.

      Which perfectly encapsulates the middle class liberal capture and emasculation of the left.

      Prefer Jacobin Magazine’s ‘Seeger did good — because he was a communist, not in spite of it’ https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/01/pete-seeger-american-communist/

  4. R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    And @TerryGlavin points us to the recording of Seeger’s song in praise of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact – released in May 1941 when the panzers were already massing on the borders of the USSR:

    Having said this he became equally assiduous in supporting the anti-fascist war effort after 22 June 1941 – which is more than can be said for most of the miniscule Trotskyist movement who continued to spout twaddle about the imperialist war…..

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