Rest in Peace, Singer for Peace


In tribute to a very long, well-lived life, here are some words about and by the late American and internationalist singer Pete Seeger:

photo of Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger: 1919-2014 (pictured in 2008)

He’s gonna look a lot like your granddad that wears flannel shirts and funny hats. He’s gonna look like your granddad if your granddad can kick your ass. At 90, he remains a stealth dagger through the heart of our country’s illusions about itself.

Bruce Springsteen, who recorded the homage We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, introducing him at his birthday party, a fundraiser for the cause closest to Seeger’s heart, the clean-up campaign for New York’s Hudson River


Songs won’t save the planet, but then neither will books or speeches. … Songs are sneaky things. They can slip across borders, proliferate in prisons… (quoting Plato) “Rulers should be careful about what songs are allowed to be sung.”

– Quoted by his biographer David Dunaway, in How Can I Keep From Singing?


I feel most spiritual when I’m out in the woods. I feel part of nature. Or looking up at the stars. (I used to say) I was an atheist. Now I say, it’s all according to your definition of God. According to my definition of God, I’m not an atheist. Because I think God is everything. Whenever I open my eyes I’m looking at God. Whenever I’m listening to something I’m listening to God.

– in response to a question about Seeger’s religious views


My job is to show folks there’s a lot of good music in this world, and if used right it may help to save the planet.

– Seeger’s humble view of “his job”


He made up songs to try and persuade people to do something – not just say something.

– How Seeger wanted to be remembered, in a 2012 radio interview


photo of Seeger at Occupy rally

Marching into his 90s: Peter Seeger at Occupy rally in 2011


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