The Big Fool Said to Push On

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"Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" was considered so dangerous and politically charges that CBS edited it out of Pete Seeger's appearance on the Smothers Brother's  show in September of 1967.  The Smother's Brothers fought back and Seeger was invited back to perform the son in February of 1968. Tom Morello called it an "Incendiary performance " and said that "if one four minute song could be given credit for stopping the Vietnam War it is this performance of Pete's".The song is a powerful  co … [Read more...]

Long Time Passing

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The world has lost one of its greatest voices for civil rights and one of its greatest singers and writers of Hymns of Social Justice.  If I had to name just one voice that has influenced me to be liberal it would be Seeger.  It is impossible to pick just one of his songs that has influenced my life so I will do several Pete Seeger themed posts over the next couple of days."Where Have All the Flowers Gone" may be one of Seeger's best known songs.  It has been performed many times by many ar … [Read more...]

I’d Hammer Out Love

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It may be blasphemous to highlight a song performance by privileged White performers on Martin Luther King Day, but I love this song and this performance so much I will risk it.Peter, Paul, and Mary were one of several musical acts that performed during the March on Washington on 28 August 1963 (Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and others also performed).   The Hymn of Social Justice that they chose to sing was Pete Seeger's "If I Had a Hammer".  The song, written by Seeger and Lee hays in 1949, became a … [Read more...]

Stille Nacht

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This is more of a “Performance of Social Justice” than it is a “Hymn of Social Justice.”  My first Christmas related post was about a fun take on the Christmas Truce of 1914.  Now I would like to end my Christmas posts for this year with a serious take on the same event. As a recap, On Christmas Eve, 1914, soldiers all along the Western Front laid down their weapons and, for an all too temporary time, they went against orders and refused to kill each other.  They proved that peace can be found a … [Read more...]

“More Than Enough”

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Fox News loves to talk about the "War on Christmas".  Every year from Thanksgiving to December 25th they whip their audience into a ratings frenzy by talking all about how anyone who doesn't wish you a "Merry Christmas" in the exact way that they do has surely declared war on Christmas and even on the baby Jesus himself.  And I am ashamed to say that I used to believe them.  Now, I realize that they are wrong.Why do I feel that way?  For many reasons, but let me mention the two that are the m … [Read more...]

Love and Understanding

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It was Christmas 1981. I was in 3rd grade and I loved Star Wars.  That year all of the 3rd grade classes at the Maeser Elementary school came together to sing a Christmas concert.  Each student was given a mimeographed booklet with the words to all of the songs in it so that we could read and memorize them (if you do not know what a mimeograph is ask some one who was born in the early 70's or before).  One of the songs immediately become my favorite Christmas song - "What Do You Get a Wookie For … [Read more...]

46664 #mandela

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As the world mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela many are making lists of their favorite songs about him in tribute and I will join them.46664 was Nelson Mandela's prison number for over 25 years.U2, long champions of social justice, contributed "Ordinary Love" to the soundtrack of "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"The Specials composed this song with a straight forward message while Mandela was still in prison … [Read more...]


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