This Machine Surrounds Hate And Forces It To Surrender…


(Click to enlarge)

…was the inscription on Pete Seeger’s banjo. I took this picture at one of Pete’s last performances during August 2013, at the Ashokan Folk Festival in Ashokan, NY. He was 94 years old. He died five months later.

Pete’s appearance at the festival was touching: his wife of many years, Toshi had recently died, and one of the outdoor stages was named after her. Pete was contemplative and sang a few songs that spoke of the circle of life. The most charming was the version of “Turn, Turn, Turn” to which Toshi had written words for her children.

Here are Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell, who were also at that festival, singing “Toshi’s Turn”

Toshi’s Turn, Turn, Turn

(Chorus:) To everything, Turn, turn, turn,

There is a season, turn, turn, turn,

And a time for every purpose

Under heaven.


A time for work, A time for play,

A time for night, A time for day,

A time for sleep, A time to wake

A time for candles, blow out the cake.


A time to dress, A time to eat

A time to sit and rest your feet,

A time to teach, A time to learn

A time for all to take their turn.


A time to cry, A time to make a fuss

A time to leave and catch the bus

A time for quiet, A time for talk

A time to run, A time to walk.


A time to get, A time to give,

A time to remember, A time to forgive,

A time to hug, A time to kiss

A time to close your eyes and wish.


A time for dirt, A time for soap,

A time for tears, A time for hope,

A time for fall, A time for spring,

A time to hear the robin sing.


2 thoughts on “This Machine Surrounds Hate And Forces It To Surrender…

  1. I think one can make a strong case that Pete Seeger is the single most influential figure in the dissemination of American Folk Music. Without him, no Bob Dylan, no Joan Baez, no Peter, Paul, and Mary, no “We Shall Overcome,” no “If I had a Hammer,” and on and on. His father, Charles, was a musicologist who went across the country collecting and cataloging the folk music of common people across the country. Pete continued his father’s work and spawned generations of future musicians who carried on and extended that tradition.

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