Friday, January 31, 2014

Week 5 - Hand Lettered Homage To Pete Seeger

This week's simple hand-lettered piece is an homage to the late, great Pete Seeger. Pete Seeger, in case you didn't know, was a folk singer who had a great love of humanity, and who wrote and sang songs about justice and peace. He wrote (among many other titles) "If I Had A Hammer" and "Turn, Turn, Turn" (which became a pop hit by The Byrds.) Pete revived many old songs that originated as gospel spirituals or songs of solidarity in early 20th century labor movements.

"Ain't Gonna Study War No More" is a line from an old gospel song that is also known by the title, "Down By The Riverside," as well as "Gonna Lay Down My Burden." Pete Seeger did not write it but he performed it as part of his repertoire.

I have a memory of seeing him on the NYC subway once, years ago. I was the only one who noticed him and what had caught my eye was his guitar case almost completely covered in stickers. I looked around to see if anyone in this fully occupied car saw who was riding the train with us and one. I looked at him and acknowledged that I recognized him and probably somehow communicated that I couldn't believe no one else saw him with my facial expression. He smiled back and seemed to put his hand up a little as if to say it's okay. It was a sweet tender moment and I cherish it!

Pete passed away this week at the age of 94. I feel his energy and love for humanity even more palpably present in the world now, in this aftermath of his leaving us. RIP Pete Seeger. Thank you for living your truth and loving humanity.

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