Folk singer, activist Pete Seeger dies in NY

Pete Seeger, the American troubadour and activist, has died in New York after a short illness, aged 94.

Where have all the flowers gone?

May he rest in peace.

God Bless Pete Seeger.

May he rest in peace.

A great musician.

May his soul rest in peace.

“Where Have All The Flowers Gone” is as good a successor to Ecclesiastes 3 as we’ll get this side of the grave. :thumbsup:

I read that his wife only died last summer, aged 91 - they married in the 1940s. Great to see that they were together for so many years. Rest In Peace, both of them.

And may the Perpetual Light shine upon him.

What beautiful songs he leaves to all - a gift to treasure.

While President Obama lavished praise on Seeger for his life’s work, today’s daily caller recounted his lifetime commitment to Communism.

Though he apparently repented of (at least Stalinism) according to Wikipedia’s bio.

In 2007, in response to criticism from a former banjo student—historian Ron Radosh, a former Trotskyite who now writes for the conservative National Review—Seeger wrote a song condemning Stalin, “Big Joe Blues”:[103]

*** “I’m singing about old Joe, cruel Joe. / He ruled with an iron hand. /He put an end to the dreams / Of so many in every land. / He had a chance to make / A brand new start for the human race. / Instead he set it back / Right in the same nasty place. / I got the Big Joe Blues. / Keep your mouth shut or you will die fast. / I got the Big Joe Blues. / Do this job, no questions asked. / I got the Big Joe Blues.”[104]***

The song was accompanied by a letter to Radosh, in which Seeger stated,

"I think you’re right, I should have asked to see the gulags when I was in U.S.S.R [in 1965]."[99]

As a performer of songs for many years some of Seeger’s songs were in my repertoire. Most of the ones I played were politically neutral (or above that plane). I’m glad of the public repentance above, which gives me hope for him. He seemed like a nice fellow.
But IMO he worked hard for a number of bad (mostly Communist) causes that still cause suffering today. He did also stand up against some injustices and deserves praise for that.

Rest in Peace is always a proper sentiment at the time of someone’s death. Hopefully
effusive praise for Seeger’s better accomplishments will not serve to endorse the mistake of Communism as a shining path to the young and searching who like his music.


I am rather amazed that on these boards the death of the Marlboro man draws more commentary. :confused: :hmmm:

Both of them hold iconic position in US culture. However, the Marlboro Man campaign was retired 15 years ago, and is known to more Americans than Pete Seeger, who retired much earlier. Seeger would be unknown to most people younger than, say, 55 or 60 y.o.

God bless you, Pete. You were a good man and did much good. I hope God shows you the same mercy that I pray for.


How do I know my youth is all spent?
My get up and go has got up and went
But in spite of it all I’m able to grin
And think of the places my get up has been.

Old age is golden so I’ve heard said
But sometimes I wonder as I crawl into bed
With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup
My eyes on the table until I wake up.
As sleep dims my vision I say to myself:
Is there anything else I should lay on the shelf?
But though nations are warring and business is vexed
I’ll stick around to see what happens next.

When I was young my slippers were red,
I could kick up my heels right over my head.
When I was older my slippers were blue,
But still I could dance the whole night thru.
Now I am older my slippers are black,
I huff to the store and I puff my way back.
But never you laugh; I don’t mind at all,
I’d rather be huffing than not puff at all.

I get up each morning and dust off my wits
Open the paper and read the obits
If I’m not there I know I’m not dead
So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed.

I s’pose this means there wont be any more new albums of his wonderful songs to buy. :frowning:

He wrote the song, “Turn Turn Turn” which became a hit for the Byrds. It was mostly adapted from a passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted

He was a giant in folk music. Rest in Peace.


Goodbye, Pete

A reflection from Fr Z:

Pete Seeger remembered

First Ben Yomen Miller age 99. Then Pete Seeger age 94.


The guy was a Communist. :frowning:

I don’t think folks should make apologies for Pete or make relative arguments that “All American” Communism was better or more moral or just than Communism elsewhere.

As late as the 1970s, in his column in the left-wing folk magazine Sing Out!, Seeger was giving space to horrifying ideas. Dealing with the case of Wolf Biermann, a socialist singer expelled from East Germany for dissidence, he gave space to correspondents arguing that there might appropriately be limits on what artists should say in an ideal Marxist regime. In 1999, he accepted an award from Fidel Castro’s regime. It’s hard to square these actions with the ideas Seeger promoted elsewhere, and they deserves condemnations.

That is true. But he was a giant in folk music - perhaps second only to Woody Guthrie (also likely a communist - as were many in the 1930’s). Seeger did live long enough to express regret for his earlier support for Stalin.


He wasn’t much of a vocalist and a passable banjo player by all accounts. Wrote some songs a long time ago. But he will mostly rembered, if at all, for his political support of one of the greatest evils of the 20th (and possibly any) century. Yes, somtime in the 80’s or 90’s he gave a half-hearted repudiation of Stalin but come on, Stalin and his regime murdered more people than Hitler. (Lets not talk about every other Communist regime that ever was).

Lot’s will look back with nastolga on the ‘good ole days’ of the 50’s beatnicks and 60’s hippies but forget the legecy of all that. A legecy we are living with today. God reast his soul but I won’t look back on him with rose colored glasses.

Pete Seeger was a talented musician, and story teller. To help you out of the hole you’ve dug for yourself. Pete left the Communist party in 1949.

I haven’t dug myself a hole. He may have been a talented musician and all that but his political views were in line with some of the biggest monsters of the 20 th century. I never heard that he condemned any of them. May God have mercy on his soul.

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