"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding watercolor, metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pete Seeger--a voice in truth telling.

There  is a silence in the land,
A voice for the people missing,
A banjo without a player,
A voice stilled from truth-telling.

Pete Seeger died yesterday at age 94. He was another Woody Guthrie, singing and active as a champion for common people. His musical force touched generations, including "We Shall Overcome."
Though Malvena Reynolds wrote the song in 1961, it is Pete's singing of "Little Boxes" that strikes closest to me as I age and teach at a university. Over the years, I've learned and observed how our education system...at all levels...follows the corporate model of exterminating individualism.
The great ones in all areas of our societies don't bend, but like Steve Jobs, Ray Bradbury, Martin Luther King, and Pete Seeger go their own way and set an example I try to instill in students in today's mass-market university system.
That's why I play this and other You-Tube Videos, trying to prompt individuality and success in my students. Deep down, I hope there will be more Pete Seegers listening.

If you haven't, you should read  three articles in the New York Times today about Pete.
Folk Revivalist 
Complete Obituary 
Singing and Saving the Hudson

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