To Everything There Is a Season: Pete Seeger and the Power of Song

To Everything There Is a Season: Pete Seeger and the Power of Song

To Everything There Is a Season: Pete Seeger and the Power of Song

To Everything There Is a Season: Pete Seeger and the Power of Song

Synopsis

Pete Seeger became one of the nation's most influential activists and folk singers as the folk music revival, often revolving around protest movements, unfolded in the 1960s. This text uses Pete Seeger's life and music as a frame of reference to discuss the important role popular music playedduring the various protest movements in the 20th century. Seeger's life reflected the turbulence of his times and his songs sounded the spirit of the issues that he felt mattered most. Over the course of his long life, he composed songs we still sing today: "If I Had a Hammer," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," "We Shall Overcome," "Union Maid," "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy," and "Garbage".This text is a useful supplement to many courses in US 20th Century History: US Since 1945, 1960s - and smaller, specialized courses that focus on protest movements: Civil Rights Movement, Protest and Dissent. At only 208 pages, this book provides instructors with a useable resource to discuss theconnection between popular music and political culture.

Excerpt

What sounds the times? Is it the bellowing of politicians? The roar of the crowd? The ebb and flow of everyday conversation? John Dos Passos answered these questions by writing the USA trilogy. In three masterful novels, he sounded the times of the first thirty years of the twentieth century, evoking its angular, often frenetic tempo through words on the page. As for the rest of the tumultuous century, Pete Seeger sounded the times with his music and lyrics perhaps better than anyone. The labor movement of the 1930s, the peace movement on the eve of World War II, the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s, and the green crusade for clean water all bear the mark of Seeger’s melodies and echo the rhythms of a century of change.

Seeger’s songs do more than sound the times, as Allan Winkler shows in his “To Everything There Is a Season”: Pete Seeger and the Power of Song. They flex a kind of musical muscle that shaped the times. We shouldn’t be surprised. Songs have always moved people to action. They provided courage to Christian martyrs consumed by the fires of persecution, boldness to the French . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.