Friday marked what would have been Pete Seeger's 100th birthday, and fans took to social media to celebrate the folk music giant and activist's life and legacy.
For the singer's birthday, musicians and advocacy groups drew attention to Seeger's performances and work for environmental and social justice over a roughly seven-decade career. Other observers resurfaced old interviews or reflected on the mark Seeger's music and activism left on their own lives.
Feeling chills reliving this scene from Farm Aid 2013:
"'Friends,'" began Seeger, hoarsely, 'at 94, I don't have much of a voice left. But here's a song I think you know. And if you sing it, why, we'll make a good sound.'"
— Farm Aid (@FarmAid) May 3, 2019
I tip my fisherman's cap to Pete Seeger, born one hundred years ago today, friend and populariser of Woody Guthrie, staunch opponent of McCarthyism and an inspiration to generations of songwriters and activists around the world. (image by Pete Frame) pic.twitter.com/FiEE7rDnVA
— Billy Bragg (@billybragg) May 3, 2019
Today we are celebrating the centenary of folk singer Pete Seeger—who was born in New York City on this day in 1919. pic.twitter.com/UnzwHvesfK
— Ted Gioia (@tedgioia) May 3, 2019
Today would have been Pete Seeger’s 100th birthday. Clearwater exists because of Pete’s vision and we continue to strive to be guided by his principles.
— Sloop Clearwater (@SloopClearwater) May 3, 2019
The legendary Pete Seeger was born on May 3, 1919.
“Songs are funny things. They can slip across borders. Proliferate in prisons. Penetrate hard shells. I always believed that the right song at the right moment could change history.” ~ Pete Seeger pic.twitter.com/vCLCUkXRaD
— Woody Guthrie Center (@WoodyGuthrieCtr) May 3, 2019
Happy birthday, Pete Seeger! pic.twitter.com/NdZljnQC6x
— Bruce Springsteen (@springsteen) May 2, 2019
— Studs Terkel Radio Archive (@StudsArchive) May 3, 2019
Seeger was optimistic about the world, he told Democracy Now! in 2004.
"There's a wonderful parable in the New Testament: The sower scatters seeds. Some seeds fall in the pathway and get stamped on, and they don't grow. Some fall on the rocks, and they don't grow," Seeger said.
"But some seeds fall on fallow ground, and they grow and multiply a thousandfold," he added. "Who knows where some good little thing that you've done may bring results years later that you never dreamed of?"
— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) May 3, 2019
"Pete was hopeful," guitarist Doug Morris wrote at Common Dreams Friday, "he knew there were possibilities that we could—through collective participation and struggle—build a better world, but there are no guarantees that even our best efforts will succeed. Yet despite those doubts, Pete carried on— and so must we."