The Ballad of Pete Seeger

pete

One of my great heroes has passed. Pete Seeger was America. He stood up for the rights of workers, fought against corporate warmongers, and worked to unite the races. His music is classic and eternal. His dreams a gift to all of us. This is a meager little song I wrote for him:

Pete Seeger went to

town, riding on a story

singing till the sun went

down, with good ol’ Woody Guthrie.

 

He sang the songs of workers,

of the poor and of the meek

he sang his songs of hope and

peace all throughout the week.

 

From World War II to Kalamazoo

he’d pluck his banjo there,

with every string and word

he’d sing

the truth would always ring.

 

“Goodnight Irene, Goodnight Irene”

The Weaver’s tune was old, heard

On radio and television

with 4 million records sold

 

Folks said he was a commie agitator,

Men meet to mark the man a traitor.

They’d work on this throughout the nights,

while he would march for Civil Rights…

 

In the cold marble halls of Congress,

Old McCarthyism’s stench, was HUAC’d

and wrestled, and overextended

to call him to the bench

 

“Mr. Seeger, tell us true

what evil force is driving you,

communist or socialist,

and everyone you knew.”

 

And he said

“I won’t play along today,

it’s immoral to ask a man

where he stands on his belief,

but I will endeavor to make an answer

and I will keep it brief:

it’s immoral to ask a man

where he stands on his belief.”

 

“I have sung in hobo jungles

and for Rockefellers,

I have sung from the top rung

down to the lowest fellas’,

the miners and the laborers,

children and the old,

from green and verdant Maine

west to California’s gold,

in all the towns and places

in each and all the faces,

I’ve seen the gleam of the

American dream

and sung my heart

and that’s my part

and

that’s all I’ll say today.”

 

His banjo was his weapon, a

machine that surrounded hate,

and forced it to surrender,

in each and every state-

 

He fought for the rights of all,

either black or white or red

and loudly railed to save all those

that war would send back dead

 

Pete Seeger now we miss you

your heart, your truth, and heat

so many perfect songs to sing

and characters to meet.

 

94 years was not enough

to save the nation, true

but in these times of struggle

it was enough to just have you.

 

 

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. R. Thom Paullin says:

    Leave poetry to the poets, little guy.

    1. Thank you for taking time to leave constructive criticism.

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