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Public Commentary

Thanks, Pete

By January 28, 2014February 24th, 20182 Comments

One of my heroes has died. I want to say thank you to folk singer and activist Pete Seeger:

Thank you, Pete.
Thank you for “If I Had a Hammer” and “Turn, Turn” and

all the other songs we know, 
without knowing they came from you.
For teaching us how “This land was made for you and me”

and how “We shall overcome.”
For inspiring us to help “bind up this sorry world

with hand and heart and mind.”
(Words I’m trying to live by. Help me.)

Thank you for standing up to the Powers.
For singing even when the Powers tried to silence you.
(They couldn’t.)
For singing hope and joy and peace into our children.
(Sometimes they sing louder than we do.)

Thank you for singing until your voice left you,
then still kept singing.
For plucking that old banjo until your fingers were crooked, 

then kept playing.
For never giving up, in all your 94 years.
For living out your own words.
For always being one of us.

We won’t forget.
We won’t stop singing.

Your banjo stops,
but we still hear the sound
coming out of the flowers.

Phyllis Cole-Dai

Phyllis Cole-Dai has authored or edited eleven books in multiple genres, including historical fiction, spiritual nonfiction and poetry. She lives in Brookings, South Dakota, USA.


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