This Day in Death

1.27.14: Folk Singer and Activist Pete Seeger – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:43 am January 29, 2014

PETE_SEEGERIf you were looking for Waldo, he’s between the crate of white guilt and the guy who’s only using drugs “to enhance the experience.”

Well hello there, fellow traveler! I was just spending some time with my old banjo, Fretsy Ross, singing some of our favorite non-copyright-protected songs of yore in honor of the death of folk legend Pete Seeger. You know, all the classics; the one about the guy who loved his hammer. That other one about wanting to have a hammer. And who could forget all those ones about using a hammer to murder the woman who done her man wrong? Really, a surprising amount of aggression for folk songs, when you think about it.

Yessir, in all the time that ol’ Fretsy and I been together I suppose we’ve seen some pretty monumental changes in this country of ours. We’ve watched people lose faith in their leaders and find it in anonymous internet hate mobs. We’ve seen me learning how to do the Dougie only two years too late. We’ve seen racism end like 40 goddamn times. And yet, despite all that, it seems like only yesterday when I accidentally whittled her into life after misreading a set of especially tricky IKEA end table instructions. In reality, of course, it was almost three and half weeks ago. I have to say, I’ve aged much better than she has.

Seeger, a singer-songwriter, was a major figure in the history of American folk music; he helped forge ties between the genre and political activisim. His work in political folk predated the socially charged folk that became popular in the 1950s and 1960s—he sang for the labor movement in the 1940s before joining civil rights and anti-war movements in later decades. He adapted his own version of “We Shall Overcome”, for example, and turned it into an important song in the civil rights era.

Seeger was also the guy who reportedly threatened to take a hatchet to Bob Dylan’s power supply during the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. The legend goes that Seeger wasn’t cottoning to Dylan’s newfangled hard-rockin’ ways and was protesting what he perceived to be blasphemy against traditional folk music. However, in later years Seeger would claim he actually enjoyed Dylan’s performance and was simply unhappy with the distorted quality of the audio coming over the PA system. Oh, sure, and I cry myself to sleep every night because tears are a good facial moisturizer, not because I’m trapped inside this persona I’ve created and am now forever tormented by my inability to connect with people on any kind of loving or sincere level! Ha! SORROW’D!

…God, I’m barely even human anymore.


Source: Pitchfork

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