“We shall overcome… We shall overcome… We shall overcome someday”
These are the words which are part of my life since the childhood days. A song that is motivating us through ages and generations. And there is no reward for guessing whose song it is… 🙂
Yes I’m saying about legendary American activist Pete Seegar.
Perhaps no single person in the 20th century has done more to preserve, broadcast, and re-distribute folk music than Pete Seeger, whose passion for politics, the environment, and humanity have earned him both ardent fans and vocal enemies since he first began performing in the late ’30s. His never-ending battle against injustice led to his being blacklisted during the McCarthy era, celebrated during the turbulent ’60s, and welcomed at union rallies throughout his life. His tireless efforts regarding global concerns such as environmentalism, population growth, and racial equality have earned him the respect and friendship of such political heroes as Martin Luther King, Jr., Woody Guthrie, and Cesar Chavez, and the generations of children who first learned to sing and clap to Seeger’s Folkways recordings must number in the millions. Rising above all of Seeger’s political ideals and his passion for authentic folk music is his clear voice and chiming banjo which both sing out with a clarity that rings true.
His ceaseless passion for reaching the hearts and minds of those who will listen is summed up by the inscription on his banjo which reads “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.”
Now the life of this great soul has been made into a film named, Pete Seeger: The Power of Song . Released in 2007 this reflective documentary explores the legacy of Seeger – written and directed by filmmaker Jim Brown when Seeger was in his late ’80s. In lieu of recounting the narrative of Seeger’s life note-for-note, however, Brown uses that individual biography as a contextual lens, through which he recounts decades of American social history. To tell his story, the filmmaker interpolates original, exclusive interviews with such Seeger contemporaries as Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, archival footage of Seeger in concert, and extracts from Seeger’s private home movies. In the process, Brown unveils the extent to which Seeger continually prompted societal change through his consciousness-raising music and offstage social efforts. I’m giving here a trailer of the documentary :
Pete Seegar : The Hero Explored
The film is a good one… A testimonial of the fact that Seeger’s music does not force hate to surrender with muscle or intimidation, but with Seeger’s simple honesty and pure-hearted clarity which has truly changed the course of history during the 60-plus years that he has been performing.
I’m ready to surrender myself to such Power of Song again and again 🙂
You might also like :