Pete Seeger Quotes

Peter “Pete” Seeger, 1919 – 2014

Born: 3 May 1919, New York City
Died: 27 January 2014, New York City

Seeger was the son of a composer and musicologist (Charles Louis Seeger, Jr.) and a classical violinist (Constance de Clyver Edson). He first took to the ukulele, but when he traveled with his father in the south he discovered the five-string banjo and it became his primary instrument, adding the twelve-string guitar (with his own tuning system) in the late ’50s. He attended Harvard until his political and musical activities cut into his study time and he lost his scholarship. He formed The Almanac Singers in 1941, then The Weavers in 1950, writing or co-writing many songs that went on to become major folk hits for the Kingston Trio; Peter, Paul, and Mary; and the Byrds. The Weavers were blacklisted in 1953. When subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee, he refused to take the Fifth Amendment and asserted that his First Amendment rights excused him from answering the committee’s questions. (He spent a year in prison for contempt.) He has consistently championed peace, civil rights, and the environment in his music.

Pete Seeger quotes:

A good song can only do good, and I am proud of the songs I have sung. I hope to be able to continue singing these songs for all who want to listen, Republicans, Democrats, and independents.
    Pete Seeger

A productive mistake is: (1) made in the service of mission and vision; (2) acknowledged as a mistake; (3) learned from; (4) considered valuable; (5) shared for the benefit of all.
    Pete Seeger

Again, I say I will be glad to tell what songs I have ever sung, because singing is my business. But I decline to say who has ever listened to them, who has written them, or other people who have sung them.
    Pete Seeger

At the audition, your assignment is to find something new in the song. Something you’ve never noticed before. A breath carried over, a thought that ties the whole thing together. Then take the risk and do it.
    Pete Seeger

Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don’t.
    Pete Seeger

Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don’t.
    Pete Seeger

Down through the centuries, this trick has been tried by various establishments throughout the world. They force people to get involved in the kind of examination that has only one aim and that is to stamp out dissent.
    Pete Seeger

Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don’t.
    Pete Seeger

Historically, I believe I was correct in refusing to answer their questions.
    Pete Seeger

I am not going to answer any questions as to my association, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private affairs.
    Pete Seeger

I am saying voluntarily that I have sung for almost every religious group in the country, from Jewish and Catholic, and Presbyterian and Holy Rollers and Revival Churches.
    Pete Seeger

I believe that my choosing my present course I do no dishonor to them, or to those who may come after me.
    Pete Seeger

I decline to discuss, under compulsion, where I have sung, and who has sung my songs, and who else has sung with me, and the people I have known.
    Pete Seeger

I feel that my whole life is a contribution.
    Pete Seeger

I fought for peace in the fifties.
    Pete Seeger

The world would never amount to a hill of beans if people didn’t use their imaginations to think of the impossible.
Pete Seeger

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