September 7, 2010

Pete Seeger: “What if the whole world could sing this song together?”

Down by the Riverside—sung by a blacklisted Pete Seeger in 1963—and 1,000 Mad Men era Australians.

A Christian song of Peace for the Whole World

Something must be in my coffee, or perhaps it was reading this well-researched article about our great nation falling to Islamophobia this morn…but a friend sent this to me this morn and I half started crying.

That’s testament to this song, and this man—I’m not generally big on the whole emotional thing, and was half distracted, besides, listening while playing a missile launch video game on my iPhone…it’s addictive and I’m pretty good at it. But soon enough my attention was so pulled to good ol’Pete, the man I most want to interview in the world right now (he’s getting on, and he represents “peace” in such a joyful, accessible, non-hippie, all-American way. And I love how he, alone among musicians, gets his audiences to sing along).

Well soon my attention was being pulled to this joyful song of peace, the audience of 1000s of squares lighting up and laughing (and one yawning, at the end, yes) and then I’m looking back at this stupid video game with missiles flying…and it was so apropos.

We can either put our energy into pre-judging others and arguing with loved ones and fighting or remember that we’re all confused and wonderful and trying and all of us are just trying to get through life and do it right, live it fully. We all have hearts. We all have things we love to do. We all are lonely, sometimes. We were all children. We all like puppies and flowers and blue skies. So enough fighting and war. Enough Ground Zero Mosque debates. Enough. Let’s just all sing along:

Go down Moses, old freedom. Nobody knows the trouble I seen.

I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield down by the riverside down by the riverside I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield down by the riverside study war no more I ain’t gonna study war no more I ain’t gonna study war no more no more…

Come on, sing along!

More, from the same show in 1963 (Mad Men era). There’s 24 in all, double click any to go to youtube and find any I missed:

Uh, wow:

An interview:

I will never marry:


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