saluting Pete Seeger

I grew up listening to Peter, Paul, and Mary and the Kingston Trio. They were among my parent's favorites, and I have memories of drifting off to sleep while my parents played their albums downstairs. (Often on my dad's Akai reel-to-reel tape recorder -- and what a technobeast that was!) And so it was though those performers I first learned some of the songs of folks like Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan and Leadbelly...and Pete Seeger.

Quite simply, songs like "If I Had a Hammer" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" helped shape the person I grew up to be.

Years later, at the Starwood Festival, I met a wonderful musician named Randolphe Harris. He had actually recorded an album, The Secret of Sharing, with Pete Seeger. Which is pretty damn cool.

One of the songs on the album is Seeger's "Letter to Eve", whose chorus is "Peace on Earth" in five different languages. I cannot describe this version as anything less than angelic. Recorded live at the Concert for Attica in Buffalo NY, Randolphe's and Pete's voices trade off in a wonderful harmony, and there are extra verses not in the listing on the PeteSeeger.net lyrics page -- and which don't turn up in any of my internet searches. Since the rest of the lyrics are already out there I don't think Pete would mind if I post them here. (Under fair use provisions of copyright law for purposes of commentary and historical preservation, and in keeping with the fact that it's on an album who's liner notes say, "The Secret of Sharing? that it divides problems and multiplies solutions.")

Just last weekend, before Pete left us, I quoted these words in a discussion about politics: "If you want to have great love, you're gonna have great anger. When I see innocent folks shot down, should I just shake my head and frown? [But] if you want to hit the target square, you better not have blind anger, or else it'll just be one more time the correction creates another crime."

Pete understood the way of the warrior.

And I can't say enough about the simple beauty of this couplet:

Been wandering from place to place
Tears in my eyes and a smile on my face

Deep thanks, Pete. I'm going to keep working on this song and try to carry it forward to others.

Letter To Eve
Pete Seeger

(Capo at 2nd fret.)

Em       Em             Em                           Em
Oh, Eve, where is Adam, now you're kicked out of the garden?
Em       Em             Em                           B
Oh, Eve, where is Adam, now you're kicked out of the garden?
Em                    Em
  Been wandering from shore to shore,
Am             Am
  Now you find there's no more
Em  Em                    B                   Em
Oh, Pacem in Terris, Mir, Shanti, Salaam, Hey Wa.

Don't you wish love, love alone, could save this world from disaster?
Don't you wish love, love alone, could save this world from disaster?
If only love could end the confusion -
Or is it just one more illusion?
Oh, Pacem in Terris, Mir, Shanti, Salaam, Hey Wa.

Well if...you want to have great love, you're gonna have great anger
If...you want to have great love, you're gonna have great anger
When I see innocent folks shot down,
Should I just shake my head and frown?
Oh, Pacem in Terris, Mir, Shanti, Salaam, Hey Wa.

Well if...you want to hit the target square, you better not have blind anger
If...you want to hit the target square, you better not have blind anger
Or else it'll just be one more time
The correction creates another crime.
Oh, Pacem in Terris, Mir, Shanti, Salaam, Hey Wa.

If music alone could only bring peace, then I'd only be a musician
If music alone could only bring peace, then I'd only be a musician
If songs could more than just dull the pain,
If only melodies could break these chains
Oh, Pacem in Terris, Mir, Shanti, Salaam, Hey Wa.

Oh, Eve, go tell Adam, you got to build a new garden
Oh, Eve, go tell Adam, we got to build a new garden
We got to get workin' on the building
Of a decent home for all of God's children.
Oh, Pacem in Terris, Mir, Shanti, Salaam, Hey Wa.

Oh Eve, go tell Adam, the next time that he asks you
Oh Eve, go tell Adam, next time he asks you 
He'll say, "But baby it's cold outside;
What's the password to come inside?"
You say, Oh, Pacem in Terris, Mir, Shanti, Salaam, Hey Wa.

Oh, Pacem in Terris, Mir, Shanti, Salaam, Hey Wa!
Oh, Pacem in Terris, Mir, Shanti, Salaam, Hey Wa!
Four thousand languages in this world,
Means the same thing to evrry boy and girl
Oh, Pacem in Terris, Mir, Shanti, Salaam, Hey Wa!

If you wanna find the right answers you gotta ask the right questions
If you wanna find the right answers you gotta ask the right questions
Been wandering from place to place
Tears in my eyes and a smile on my face
Oh, Pacem in Terris, Mir, Shanti, Salaam, Hey Wa!

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