Pete Seeger was the voice of America’s conscience. He is dead at 94. The last sixty years the folk singer sang about politics, civil rights, religion and the moral choices that each one of us has to make throughout our lives. Seeger’s politics had him speaking out against McCarthyism and singing right through to President Obama‘s 2009 inauguration along side one of his biggest fans Bruce Springsteen!
The outpouring from fellow musicians was moving. John Mellencamp said: “Pete Seeger always tried to make the world a better place through his music and activism. His life-long commitment to the cause of peace and to addressing the plight of the downtrodden has been an inspiration to all those who have championed society’s victims and have done what they could to combat injustice. His music and commitment was more powerful than a thousand armies. We are fortunate that he lit the way for so long. Pete once gave me a bit of advice, and I’ve always tried to remember what he said, ‘Keep it small and you will make a difference.’”
President Obama released a statement on Seeger’s death: ”Once called ‘America’s tuning fork,’ Pete Seeger believed deeply in the power of song,” Obama said. “But more importantly, he believed in the power of community — to stand up for what’s right, speak out against what’s wrong, and move this country closer to the America he knew we could be. Over the years, Pete used his voice — and his hammer — to strike blows for worker’s rights and civil rights; world peace and environmental conservation. And he always invited us to sing along. For reminding us where we come from and showing us where we need to go, we will always be grateful to Pete Seeger. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Pete’s family and all those who loved him.”
Filmmaker Michael Moore commented, “Our paths crossed many times, and I am the better for it.”
Written by: Laney Fichera