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Pete Seeger - An Ode to a Legend

Updated on September 30, 2014
Pete Seeger's record album cover; If I Had a Hammer
Pete Seeger's record album cover; If I Had a Hammer | Source

I have sung for Americans of every political persuasion, and I am proud that I never refuse to sing to an audience, no matter what religion or color of their skin, or situation in life. - Pete Seeger

This Ode is dedicated to Pete Seeger. Mr. Seeger was an activist, is well known for working in the dust bowl with the likes of Woodie Guthrie. He is also a great song writer having written popular folk songs like "Where Have All the Flowers Gone", "If I Had a Hammer", and many others. He has been sailing the Clearwater sloop along the Hudson River to teach children about the environment and recently joined the 99 on Wall Street - at 92 years of age. Whether we agree with what he believes or not we really have to admire a man who has put humanity before his own life and needs.

There once was a gent named Pete Seeger whose beginnings were not very meager
His folks were both musical, his life anecdotical and he grew to be famously eager.

His career covers 70 years, if you don't know him perk up your ears
For the tale I will tell of a man some know well
As they greet him with warmness and cheers.

He began singing songs for a reason, with nary a care about season
To help those in need he fashioned a creed
That some at the time thought was treason.

He hitch hiked and rode the rails
And showed he was stronger than nails
As songs that he wrote switched from peace to war
He showed what we were fighting for.

He served his time for God and country leaving as a corporal
To show that he was also moral
And prove that we are great indeed by not just words but by his deeds.

He wrote about strikes to politicians dislikes, and he grew as he knew he was right
His songs were a mission to show the omission of goodness that could become might.

His music it grew to include me and you and it blossomed with tenuous speed
And his truth went on singing even through all the swinging
Of mob scenes that just wouldn't cede.

An agonist turned activist he grew in his trade and his glory
He spent time in jail without any bail but this didn't end his great story
It started a light that grew into the night and made him ante le tempore.

He sang with Martin Luther King to try to help to truly bring
Unity and a people's voice to all around by God's own choice.


He led the people and he marched along, to show the need to right the wrong
With the words he wrote into his song
He let men know they all belong.

He showed they should be treated fair as they stood in the rich man's lair
That nothing else could right the wrong
Except the poor man's growing throng.

Then came the folk songs he did write, which proved the glory of his might
With words and songs he played for right.

He let his light shine in song and deed and showed us what we truly need
To live a life of love and speed
To help all those we see in need.

His songs were sung by many brothers, those who believed and many others
He wrote for other singers too
To add their voices strong and true.

Next came environmental woes that he developed as his foes
He sailed the mighty Hudson blue to show his theories all were true
On his Clearwater he did sail to show that goodness can prevail.

Today he marches Wall Street's beat with those who may have lost their seat
At jobs where they were once employed
Before this country was destroyed.

At ninety-two Pete Seeger knew his job for country wasn't through
And so he works to still defend
The folks who now on him depend.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

Michael, Row The Boat Ashore - Pete Seeger [18/24] [1963]


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    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Thank you SS. Pete Seeger was a really great songwriter (and singer too). I appreciate your wanting "him" to get more visits.

      CClitgirl you surely made my heart sing with the great comments you wrote!

      Heavenleigh, nice to bring back those memories for you, glad you enjoyed.

      Ah DzyMsLizzy, it would have seemed Peter, Paul & Mary were responsible for the songs they sung (unhand your head) at the time I didn't know either. It wasn't until much later I found out it was Pete Seeger. He continues to sing and advocate for the Hudson River.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      My goodness, what an awesome tribute; a mini-biography in poetic form! Well done!

      I am a fan of the songs you mentioned by name....I remember them from the 60's ...and I have them now on my iPod... but, I am also ashamed to say I am one who is not very good at connecting the name of the artist to the songs. The album I had with those songs on it was a Peter, Paul and Mary record, so I thought it was their song! (***hanging head in shame***) I did not know or understand back then (in my teens) about "cover" album groups.

      Voted up across except funny, and shared.

    • heavenleigh707 profile image

      Heaven L Burkes 5 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Awesome! I remember singing these songs with our family group when we were kids! We would go to local convalescent homes and schools. Treasures of wisdom and love in his songs! Thank you TillsonTitan for doing a piece on this wonderful singer/songwriter!!! Awesome - and great memories!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Pete Seeger rocks! Your poem and tribute are awesome, too! I didn't know much about him, but thanks to you, I now know lots more! Nice job drawing in the reader, too, for I got very interested in learning more right after that amazing quote you chose to include at the top part of this hub. Very nicely done!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I never heard of Pete Seeger until now. Very interesting. I think he deserves a few more visits. I'm on top of it. I hope :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Oh Sally, my first comment on dear old Pete! Thanks so much for stopping by AND leaving a comment.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      I'm glad you mentioned this hub in HubHoppers...I thoroughly enjoyed a lovely hour's trip down memory lane with Pete Seeger that started right here. :)