by Randolph T. Holhut
Chief of AR Correspondents
January 30, 2014
DUMMERSTON, Vt .-- What can you say about a man whose life of activism stretches from the Wobblies to Occupy, from FDR to Obama? What can you say about a man who life in music stretches from Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie to Billy Bragg and Tom Morello, who wrote hit songs and enjoyed popular acclaim but also endured years of blacklisting and scuffling to earn a living?
What can you say about a man who was a Harvard dropout yet ended up providing a soundtrack for every social movement of the last seven decades?
What can you say about a man who helped clean-up the Hudson River, stood with the anti-nuclear protesters at the Seabrook and Indian Point nuclear plants, and stood on the front lines, five-string banjo in hand, in the struggle for peace, for justice, for equality?
All you can say is, "Thanks, Pete."
Pete Seeger died on Jan. 27 at the age of 94, after a full and joyous life of singing, of activism, of doing his part to make the world a better place.
As he once wrote, "I'm just one more grain of sand in this world, but I'd rather throw my weight, however small, on the side of what I think is right than selfishly look after my own fortunes and have to live with a bad conscience."
And he did. His songs will live as long as there are people who believe making a better, more just world.
So, thank you, Pete.
Thank you for your generous heart, and showing us tha t the fun is in the fight, for never giving up or giving in.
Thank you for showing us that music can be a powerful force for good, especially when you bring many voices together as one.
Thank you for showing us how easy it is to sing, and how every revolution needs a soundtrack.
AR's Chief of Correspondents, Randolph T. Holhut, holds an M.P.A .from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and has been an award-winning journalist in New England for more than 30 years. He edited "The George Seldes Reader" (Barricade Books). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.