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Thread: Pete Seeger

  1. #1
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    Default Pete Seeger

    The story about the Cold Spring Boat Club taking hatchets to cut the lines of the Clearwater because Pete Seegar was a Communist got a few people talking about him. So I figured a thread about this folk singer, activist, sailor, environmentalist and all around true complicated American might be a good thing. From his McCarthy era black listing to the kind old gentleman that has sung to my daughter and a group of her classmates.

    I have personally met him, spoken with him. I have attended local folk concerts and sailed on and around the Clearwater, he is a tall thin sparkling good natured true American soul.

    Pete Seeger
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Seeger's album Clearwater Classics. The title alludes to his work with the Clearwater group, working to clean the Hudson River.
    Peter Seeger (born May 3, 1919 in New York City), almost universally known as "Pete Seeger", is a folk singer and political activist. He was a major contributor to folk and pioneer of protest music in the 1950s and the 1960s. He is perhaps best known as the author or co-author of the songs "Where Have All the Flowers Gone", "If I Had a Hammer", and "Turn, Turn, Turn", which have been recorded by many artists both in and outside the folk revival movement and which are still sung all over the world. "Flowers" was a hit recording for The Kingston Trio (1962), Marlene Dietrich, who recorded it in English, German and French (1962), and Johnny Rivers (1965). "If I Had a Hammer" was a hit for Peter, Paul & Mary (1962) and Trini Lopez (1963), while The Byrds popularized "Turn, Turn, Turn" in the mid-1960's.
    His father Charles Seeger was a musicologist and an early investigator of non-Western music. His siblings Mike Seeger and Peggy Seeger also had notable musical careers. Half-brother Mike Seeger went on to form the New Lost City Ramblers. Pete Seeger attended Avon Old Farms in Connecticut and then Harvard University until he left in the mid-1930's during his sophomore year. In 1943 he married Toshi-Aline Ohta, whom he credits with being the support that made the rest of his life possible. Pete and Toshi have three children, Danny, Mika and Tinya, and grandchildren Tao, Cassie, Kitama, Moraya, Penny, and Issablle.
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    Little boxes on the hillside
    Little boxes made of ticky tacky
    Little boxes made of ticky tacky
    and they all look just the same

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    Little Boxes is a Malvina Reynolds song.

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    Pete Seeger comes & performs every year at our Little Stony Point Hoot, and is an inspiration to us all...He is a classic, in every sense of the word...





    Thank you, Pete Seeger, for being a great American...

    PH

    PS He's in his eighties by now

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    Pete Seeger grew up in a household that had servants, went to a fancy prep school, and dropped out of Harvard for lack of interest.

    During the same period my grandfather's farm failed, and my father... only 6 years older than Seeger... had to drop out of school and go to work for 12 dollars a week in the coal mines. No ****.

    Just another "working stiff sticking it to the man", all right.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 04-21-2006 at 10:24 PM.

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    Just what are you saying, Bob? That Seegers whole life should be judged by the fact that his Dad had money?

    I'd say he acquitted himself quite well. all on his own, thank you...

    Over these last eighty years...

    PH
    Last edited by Phil Heffernan; 04-21-2006 at 10:26 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Heffernan
    Just what are you saying, Bob?
    Just another spoiled rich kid I don't respect much, is all.

    Many of his Depression era were twice the man and lived half as long.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 04-21-2006 at 10:27 PM.

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    What the point, Bob? He can't be a great American 'cause his family was rich?
    Get rid of that chip. It'll just make getting old that much more bitter.

    Charlie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzalo
    Little Boxes is a Malvina Reynolds song.
    Little Pink Houses is a John Mellencamp song.

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    My favourite spoiled rich kid was Humphrey Bogart.

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    You know, sometimes pure TALENT has an impact on how your life turns out...I know it's not fair, but that's life...

    And just what is your criteria for 'Twice the man'?

    PH

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    He did a lot for Bob Dylan too. To find out more rent the movie "No Direction Home."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyahoga Chuck
    What the point, Bob? He can't be a great American 'cause his family was rich?
    Get rid of that chip. It'll just make getting old that much more bitter.

    Charlie
    Love the music.

    It's the political dose that comes with it I'm not much of a fan of. Who is this guy to presume he talks for the "working man"? What adversity did he ever overcome? How much hard manual labor? His maid likely knew more about it.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 04-21-2006 at 10:42 PM.

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    when I was a kid the first records I got were Pete Seeger and Burl Ives. Sounded good. There are probably soldiers and lawyers who didn't continue in their careers for lack of interest. Here's some music about "the man",,not Pete.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eDJ3cuXKV4&eurl=

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    This man was one of the seminal figures in 20th cent. music, He is still alive, and he still works for the world.

    He almost single handledly cleaned up the Hudson River. He said F**k
    you to the McCartheyites. He wrote some of the greatest modern folk songs. Just what, Bob, do you have against this man?

    PH

    And if you believe that a man's father defines you, then think again...

    "Who is this guy to presume he talks for the "working man"?"

    An artist can articulate things that others may see, but can't put into words..This was his gift

    PH
    Last edited by Phil Heffernan; 04-21-2006 at 10:48 PM.

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    ok.......... what about the fact the he was a commy..........our father died to repel and defeat them.......... what about that?
    \"The strength of a man is not measured on what he must have, it\'s measured on what he can do without\"

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    Seeger's greatest contribution to music was not so much as a great songwriter but as a great archivist and a great one man live entertainer. Hell, Seeger could keep a group of 6 year olds spellbound for 90 minutes....very few, if any guys with a guitar and no gimmicks, clown suit or magic tricks can do that!

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    I've nothing at all against communists. I just prefer them with callouses, is all.

    The silver spoon communists seem dishonest.

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    Bob you're Army?
    Pete Seeger Military service: US Army (1942-45)

    See commonality.

    A measure of a man can be dissected in such a way as to make an architect and alchemist or make a sinner is a saint. Just add or take away a bit of the whole life and you can make it look anyway you want. The whole of a persons life can not be judge on just your perceptions and comparisons with your own existence.

    As for going up privileged has nothing to do with his later work for farmers and migrant workers and his life as a folk singer.

    How about this rich brat? You could say the same thing about a person like John D. Rockefeller/

    From his very first paycheck, Rockefeller tithed ten percent of his earnings to his church. As his wealth grew, so did his giving, primarily to educational and public health causes, but also for basic science and the arts. In 1884, he provided major funding for a college in Atlanta for black women, that became Spelman College

    Rockefeller gave $80 million to the University of Chicago under William Rainey Harper, turning a small Baptist College into a world-class institution by 1900. His General Education Board, founded in 1902, was established to promote education at all levels everywhere in the country. It was especially active in supporting black schools in the South. Its most dramatic impact came funding the recommendations of the Flexner Report of 1910 (which had been funded by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; it revolutionized the study of medicine in the United States
    Despite his personal preference for homeopathy, Rockefeller, on Gates's advice, became one of the first great benefactors of medical science. In 1901, he founded the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York City. It changed its name to Rockefeller University in 1965, after expanding its mission to include graduate education. It claims a connection to 23 Nobel laureates. He founded the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission in 1909, an organization that eventually eradicated the hookworm disease that had long plagued the South. The Rockefeller Foundation was created in 1913 to continue and expand the scope the work of the Sanitary Commission, which was closed in 1915. He gave nearly $250 million to the Foundation, which focused on public health, medical training, and the arts. It endowed Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, the first of its kind. It built the Peking Union Medical College into a great institution; it helped in war relief, 1914-16; it employed William Lyons Mackenzie King of Canada to study industrial relations. Rockefeller's fourth main philanthropy, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Foundation, created in 1918, supported work in the social studies; it was later absorbed in the Rockefeller Foundation. All told, Rockefeller gave away about $550 million.
    Oddly enough, Rockefeller was probably best known in his later life for the practice of giving a dime to children wherever he went. He even gave dimes as a playful gesture to men like tire mogul Harvey Firestone and President Hoover. During The Great Depression, Rockefeller switched to giving nickels instead of dimes.
    Dang Bob sounds like another man of privilege beating on your family.

    What would we have done without the Medici's
    Last edited by Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ); 04-21-2006 at 10:54 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson )
    Bob you're Army?
    Pete Seeger Military service: US Army (1942-45)
    Yup.

    He was in the Army like Al Gore was in the Army.

    ...when Seeger was drafted in 1942. He spent his tour of duty singing folk songs for soldiers on the front...
    Rockefeller never had any callouses, either.....but never talked like he had any, either.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 04-21-2006 at 10:56 PM.

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    callouses don't make a man.
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    Theres alot of Americans and others who do not respect the man........ callousses or not......... musical talent or not.
    \"The strength of a man is not measured on what he must have, it\'s measured on what he can do without\"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson )
    callouses don't make a man.
    'Course not.

    Neither do silver spoons. Often the opposite, in fact.

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    "callouses don't make a man."

    As my Pappy used to say: 'It ain't the Work...It's if the work, WORKS'...

    Pete Seeger's work, worked...

    And for all those men whose work, didn't...Well, Seeger was their advocate...

    Better than a lot of people on the landscape today, by gar...

    PH

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    don't bango players have callouses?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northernguy59
    Theres alot of Americans and others who do not respect the man........ callousses or not......... musical talent or not.
    There are an equal enough Americans and others who respect the man. Thats the thing about being an American or others .......... choice
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    LeeG

    don't bango players have callouses?



    Ph

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG
    don't bango players have callouses?
    BEAUTIFUL
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    "Many of his Depression era were twice the man and lived half as long."

    And just what is your criteria for 'Twice the man'?

    Still waiting for an answer, Bob

    PH
    Last edited by Phil Heffernan; 04-21-2006 at 11:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Heffernan
    "Many of his Depression era were twice the man and lived half as long."

    PH
    You don't have to dig very deep among members of "The Greatest Generation" to figure that one out. Yet here's what Seeger had to say about the fight against fascism:

    It was on a Saturday night and the moon was shin'g bright
    They passed the conscription bill
    And the people they did say for many miles away
    'Twas the President and his boys on Capitol Hill.

    CHORUS:

    Oh, Franklin Roosevelt told the people how he felt
    We damned near believed what he said
    He said, "I hate war, and so does Eleanor
    But we won't be safe 'till everybody's dead."

    When my poor old mother died I was sitting by her side
    A-promising to war I'd never go.

    But now I'm wearing khaki jeans and eating army beans
    And I'm told that J. P. Morgan loves me so,

    I have wandered o'er this land, a roaming working man
    No clothes to wear and not much food to eat.
    But now the government foots the bill
    Gives me clothes and feeds me swill
    Gets me shot and puts me underground six feet.


    CHORUS


    Too bad Eric Hoffer wasn't a communist so I could use him as a better example of intellectual honesty.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 04-22-2006 at 12:24 AM.

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    common themes..not a great song but GW callouses from cutting brush and taxes don't strike ones heart as much as a good voice and music.

    PINK LYRICS

    "Dear Mr. President"
    (feat. Indigo Girls)

    Dear Mr. President
    Come take a walk with me
    Let's pretend we're just two people and
    You're not better than me
    I'd like to ask you some questions if we can speak honestly

    What do you feel when you see all the homeless on the street
    Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep
    What do you feel when you look in the mirror
    Are you proud

    How do you sleep while the rest of us cry
    How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye
    How do you walk with your head held high
    Can you even look me in the eye
    And tell me why

    Dear Mr. President
    Were you a lonely boy
    Are you a lonely boy
    Are you a lonely boy
    How can you say
    No child is left behind
    We're not dumb and we're not blind
    They're all sitting in your cells
    While you pave the road to hell

    What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away
    And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay
    I can only imagine what the first lady has to say
    You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine

    How do you sleep while the rest of us cry
    How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye
    How do you walk with your head held high
    Can you even look me in the eye

    Let me tell you bout hard work
    Minimum wage with a baby on the way
    Let me tell you bout hard work
    Rebuilding your house after the bombs took them away
    Let me tell you bout hard work
    Building a bed out of a cardboard box
    Let me tell you bout hard work
    Hard work
    Hard work
    You don't know nothing bout hard work
    Hard work
    Hard work
    Oh

    How do you sleep at night
    How do you walk with your head held high
    Dear Mr. President
    You'd never take a walk with me
    Would you

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    I've never met Pete Seeger but I grew up on his songs. I have met Tom Paxton twice and had some one on one with him. I don't remember what we talked about so I guess it was just small talk. Paxton could make up a song on the spot and it worked. He was black-balled by McCarthy at one time and that is a state of not being ALLOWED to work and being literally followed around by FBI thugs to be sure he didn't lie about who he was and earn a living even long enough to buy food. In the 1940's there weren't many who even understood what communism was and certainly not before WWII. For us to judge them in 2006 is to brush with a mighty broad stroke indeed. I like Bob Smalser but think he is blinded by his grand fathers bitterness…perhaps we all should take a lesson. It would be much of a feat for me to put down my upbringing and to bring up the downgrading I learned as a child. That probably applies to many if not all of us…”Walk a Mile in My Shoes”

    If Seeger dies before I do, I'm gonna have an all day cry...

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    Pete brings balance to a planet frought with suffering.
    I'm glad those guys cut his lines at the dock.
    Be grateful they didn't shoot him. Them angry SOB's have been known to do that when they can't change somebody.

    "May those who love us love us.
    And those that don't love us,
    May God turn their hearts.
    And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
    May he turn their ankles,
    So we'll know them by their limping."

    How can you belong to a club that would allow those mariners to remain as members?

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    "In the 1940's there weren't many who even understood what communism was and certainly not before WWII. For us to judge them in 2006 is to brush with a mighty broad stroke indeed. I like Bob Smalser but think he is blinded by his grand fathers bitterness…perhaps we all should take a lesson. "

    I think you hit the nail, there, Phil...

    As for Seegers song about conscription, he was a pacifist, and just didn't believe in war...A lot of people feel that way, but it was an especially hard stand to take in the 1940's...

    One thing about Pete Seeger: He never took the easy road...

    PH

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    http://www.clearwater.org/festival.html



    Chris I choose to work from with in and hopefully one day Phil and I can be the Old Springers that are tossed the lines to tie up and welcome the Clearwater to the New Cold Spring Boat Club.

    Things have changed so much that I would venture to guess that if the Clearwater wanted to tie up today she would be safe and enjoyed.
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    Default Factual correction

    'How can you belong to a club that would allow those mariners to remain as members?'

    The fact is, the CS Boat Club did not cut the lines of the Clearwater.

    It was a small group (5 people, I believe) of local boys (in their 20's) back from Nam, and caught up in the hatreds of that era. They cut the lines of the boat as it was tied up to the VILLAGE dock, not at the Boat Club. Seegers suppossed Communist affiliation was all the justification they felt they needed.

    One of them was our current Mayor. I am sure he has been trying to live down that action ever since, not that he'd ever admit it.

    PH

    PS I am actively working on opening up the Village dock once again to large vessels, and you can bet your sweet *** that the first boat to come in will be the Clearwater...
    Last edited by Phil Heffernan; 04-22-2006 at 06:56 AM.

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    Thanks for that clarification Phil. I misunderstood the story which is a common problem, I'm sorry for the slight on the boat club.

    Oh and I know you as an elected official can't say this but the mayor is an ........ Oh wait I almost forgot how small our town is
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Heffernan
    PS I am actively working on opening up the Village dock once again to large vessels, and you can bet your sweet *** that the first boat to come in will be the Clearwater...
    I'd bet you could get Clearwater down there to help create the money to get a village dock funded.
    Pete's no dummy to that kind of irony.

    Glad to get the membership thing squared up. If I were to make it over there for a sail, you'd have been meeting me at a different landing. Wood boaters around here are often identified as those who silently indicate that they are averse to selling out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Heffernan
    "In the 1940's there weren't many who even understood what communism was and certainly not before WWII. For us to judge them in 2006 is to brush with a mighty broad stroke indeed. I like Bob Smalser but think he is blinded by his grand fathers bitterness…perhaps we all should take a lesson. "

    As for Seegers song about conscription, he was a pacifist, and just didn't believe in war...A lot of people feel that way, but it was an especially hard stand to take in the 1940's...

    One thing about Pete Seeger: He never took the easy road...

    PH
    Easy road? Shucks boys, it's hard to have a different opinion here, too. Working men bitter about the system are rarely proud political conservatives.

    It's real simple. I don't place much value on overpriviledged kids who never had to work, American communists...the ultimate contradiction, "activists" who produce nothing, and phonies. Woodie Guthrie had two up on Pete Seeger there.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 04-22-2006 at 08:55 AM.

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    The two of them were pals and traveled together

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    Bob, I guess your minds made up, and I suppose mine is too. I never knew much about Seegers younger days, so I never held it against him...

    As for his being 'an activist who produced nothing', though that may apply to many people, it certainly doesn't apply to him. He was a prolific and well respected singer/songwriter who influenced millions with his output.

    I wish I could be half as productive.

    PH

    Phil Allen originated the comment at the top of my last post, I was just quoting

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    Bob, you must not have much use for the CIC.

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    I'm not at all sure where the notion of the Seegers having wealth and privilege came from. Charles Seeger was a musicologist and professor at a time when professors lived in what was called genteel poverty. There were scholarships to send the kids to good schools and there was often a housing subsidy - perks of the job - but there was not the cash for conspicuous consumption.

    Many not wealthy families had a maid in the 20's. Both my grandparents did. When the Depression caused too many to flee Oklahoma leaving Dad's folks stuck with a lot of bad paper and easing past their sixties, Grandmother became a maid herself. BFD.

    So sure, the Seeger family had a maid. Her name was Libba Cotton.

    In the summer of 965 I was pretty clueless. I was involved with the first true love of my life and she was a folk singer. I was schizophrenically working as a yacht club launch driver and a very lowly assistant helping organize migrant farm workers. So one night I came back from an informational picket in the fields and mentioned to Becky that some skinny guy drove up in a really beat to $#!+ car, unloaded a couple of guitars and a banjo, and got us all singing.

    Name of Pete somebody.

    When I met Seeger more formally just a few years later - I was helping train Clearwater's first crew - he graciously claimed to remember me.

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    Default Hootenanny

    The Hootenanny was his word to describe an informal folk session, usually with political overtones...Was a pretty big phenomena in the 60's...

    And thanks, Ian, for clarification of his background

    PH

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    Speeking of Pete Seeger's continued infuluence, Bruce Springsteen new album.

    Rolling Stone:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/...as-player=true

    Near the end of "Mrs. McGrath," a nineteenth-century Irish ballad that is the third track on Bruce Springsteen's new album, comes a couplet that gives a pretty good sense of why he's putting out an album of traditional folk music right now: "All foreign wars, I do proclaim/Live on blood and a mother's pain." We Shall Overcome -- which was recorded live in Springsteen's New Jersey home with a fourteen-piece band, including horns, banjo, fiddles, washboard, organ and accordion -- is his most jubilant disc since Born in the U.S.A. and more fun than a tribute to Pete Seeger has any right to be. But as on Born in the U.S.A., seemingly triumphant anthems are paired with lyrics of pain and protest that champion the oppressed and the exploited (not to mention the calamity-prone protagonist of "My Oklahoma Home," whose wife, house and crops get blown away by a tornado, leaving him with nothing but a mortgage).
    Springsteen has always mined a deep vein of Americana, from the hot-rod-and-B-movie-obsessed early albums to the Steinbeckian social realism of The Ghost of Tom Joad and last year's Devils and Dust. But with his first-ever album of songs written by other people, it feels like he's turned to the music of our shared past to find a moral compass for a nation that's gone off the rails. The protest anthems "Eyes on the Prize" and "We Shall Overcome" are performed with an understated urgency; the gospel standard "Oh, Mary, Don't You Weep" -- which Springsteen sings in a gruff Tom Waits-ish baritone and to which the Seeger Sessions Band gives a Dixieland treatment with Stephane Grappelli-style violin -- promises, "Brothers and sisters, don't you cry/There'll be good times by and by."

    Springsteen discovered most of these tunes -- which also include sea chanteys ("Pay Me My Money Down"), minstrel songs ("Old Dan Tucker") and outlaw ballads ("Jessie James") -- on LPs by Seeger. Among the pleasures of this album is rediscovering childhood staples like "Erie Canal" or "John Henry" via Springsteen's craggy, familiar voice -- which is as mighty and powerful as the steel-driving man himself.


    JONATHAN RINGEN
    (Posted: Apr, 18 2006)
    Last edited by Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ); 04-23-2006 at 10:04 AM.
    This post is temporary and my disappear at the discretion of the managment

  46. #46
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    Default What if...

    ...Seeger had been a Nazi instead of a Commmunist in the late thirties?

    And, to this day wouldn't admit he'd been wrong.

    Would that be different? Why?

    Alan

    BTW, once the Germans attacked the Soviet Union, Seeger's pacifism (at that time) abruptly ended...

  47. #47
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    Default

    First rule of political science ALL forms of government in their purist forms are utopian. Even communism.

    I think communism had its appeal in the bohemian intellectual counter culture circles for its grandeur of it utopian concepts. Not for it's Stalinist abuses.

    FWIW I'm more of a capitalist then my buddy Phil, but then again I'm a real estate whore
    This post is temporary and my disappear at the discretion of the managment

  48. #48
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin
    ...In the summer of 965 I was pretty clueless....
    Wow, Ian, you really are an old fart!

  49. #49
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    Default

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ian McColgin
    ...In the summer of 965 I was pretty clueless....


    Wow, Ian, you really are an old fart!

    I bet he was shoe-less too

  50. #50
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    Default

    ARMY SERIAL NUMBER34335466 34335466 NAMESEEGER#PETER############ SEEGER#PETER############ RESIDENCE: STATE34 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA RESIDENCE: COUNTY001 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PLACE OF ENLISTMENT4130 FT MCCLELLAN ALABAMA DATE OF ENLISTMENT DAY24 24 DATE OF ENLISTMENT MONTH07 07 DATE OF ENLISTMENT YEAR42 42 GRADE: ALPHA DESIGNATIONPVT# Private GRADE: CODE8 Private BRANCH: ALPHA DESIGNATIONBI# Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA BRANCH: CODE00 Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA FIELD USE AS DESIRED# # TERM OF ENLISTMENT5 Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law LONGEVITY### ### SOURCE OF ARMY PERSONNEL0 Civil Life NATIVITY23 NEW YORK YEAR OF BIRTH19 19 RACE AND CITIZENSHIP1 White, citizen EDUCATION5 1 year of college CIVILIAN OCCUPATION024 BLACKSMITH or BAND OR ORCHESTRA LEADER (Band leader.) or MUSICIAN, INSTRUMENTAL (Bandsman.) or BANDSMAN, CLARINET or BANDSMAN, CORNET OR TRUMPET or BANDSMAN, DRUM, BASS or BANDSMAN, DRUM, SNARE or BANDSMAN, EUPHONIUM OR BARITONE or BANDSMAN, FLUTE OR PICCOLO or BANDSMAN, FRENCH HORN or BANDSMAN, SAXOPHONE or BANDSMAN, TROMBONE or BANDSMAN, TUBA MARITAL STATUS1 Single, with dependents COMPONENT OF THE ARMY7 Selectees (Enlisted Men) CARD NUMBER# # BOX NUMBER0784 0784 FILM REEL NUMBER3.206 3.206 < Previous Record | Next Record >

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