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.
Singing and Saving the Hudson