A legend in our time has died. Pete Seeger died yesterday at the age of 94. He was a man of principle, never failing to speak out against the wrongs in this world. He appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1955, held in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify. He was banned from commercial television for ten years. During that time he played on college campuses and campaigned for civil rights. He returned to television on the Smothers Brothers show. His song "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" protesting the war in Viet Nam was cut from the show by CBS.
Pete Seeger says he fell in love with folk music in 1935 when he attended a folk festival here in the NC mountains.
"The machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender"
The words on his banjo.
When asked about his religious or spiritual views, Seeger replied: "I feel most spiritual when I’m out in the woods. I feel part of nature. Or looking up at the stars. [I used to say] I was an atheist. Now I say, it’s all according to your definition of God. According to my definition of God, I’m not an atheist. Because I think God is everything. Whenever I open my eyes I’m looking at God. Whenever I’m listening to something I’m listening to God."
Seeger was an activist even in his senior years. He marched in the "Occupy Wall Street" movement. According to his grandson, Pete Seeger was chopping wood only ten days before his death. A legend in his own time, we won't see such a man very often. A man who truly stood up for the rights of all.