If I Had a Hammer…

… I’d want to use it just like Pete Seeger used his. In response to questions from HUAC (The House Unamerican Activities Committee), he said this:

“I decline to discuss, under compulsion, where I have sung, and who has sung my songs, and who else has sung with me, and the people I have known. I love my country very dearly, and I greatly resent this implication that some of the places that I have sung and some of the people that I have known, and some of my opinions, whether they are religious or philosophical, or I might be a vegetarian, make me any less of an American. I will tell you about my songs, but I am not interested in telling you who wrote them, and I will tell you about my songs, and I am not interested in who listened to them.”

He didn’t even plead the 5th, which he had the legal right to do and which many did.

I’ve never been a fan of folk music – I’m just not. But I’m awed and inspired by the lives of some of the remarkable men and women like Seeger who didn’t just sing about it – they lived it.

2 Replies to “If I Had a Hammer…”

  1. “I’ve never been a fan of folk music – I’m just not.”

    Well, we all have our faults. 😉

    I know a lot of Seeger songs by heart and on guitar. I grew up on his records, though I never got to see him sing. It’s going to take some time to digest his passing, and the wide, wide impact he had on me and on the US, and on the world.


  2. I lkstened to very little folk music but Pete Seeger was synonomous with peace and activism. I read od his travels, convictions, and beliefs. He was one of those rare people who lived it.

    RIP, Pete.

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