Pete Seeger and singing as community art

Pete Seeger2 - 6-16-07 Photo by Anthony Pepitone.jpg

Pete Seeger died today at age 94.  He was an old musical activist who knew the beauty and magic of people singing together. Music, not as performance but as a human community activity.  I never enjoyed listening to Pete Seeger sing alone. He never tried to polish his solo performance. He wanted the rest of us to sing along with him. We could sing as well. We could make up a harmony. This was Seeger’s gospel.

So much of my time, and of my wife’s time, is spent in attempts to facilitate people singing together. I am grateful for Pete Seeger, for the Weavers, for continuation of the American folk tradition of Woody Guthrie and others. There was always a little bit of compassionate liberal politics in Seeger, but there was also a pure dedication to singing as community art. He knew that singing together was good for us individually, as families, as congregations, as communities, as citizens of this country and as people alive on earth. Bless the memory of Pete Seeger.

Here’s an unusual amped-up version of This Land is Your Land with Woody’s long-haired son Arlo  and Pete Seeger.  Everybody sing.

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