Rise Up And Sing: The 100 Year Anniversary of Pete Seeger

Known for the civil rights anthem We Shall Overcome, Pete Seeger would have been 100 years old this month. Born May 3, 1919, events of his long life tell the history of the struggle for social justice of the last century and into the next.

Seeger sang for strikers in the 1940s, served in World War ll, appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee, opens a new window in the 1950s, sang and marched for civil rights and protested the war in Vietnam in the 1960s, opposed nuclear weapons in the 1970s, rallied for the environment in the 1980s and 1990s, performed at the Obama inauguration in the aughts, and Occupy Wall Street, opens a new window in the teens of the 21st century. Seeger died in 2014.

Pete Seeger was an activist who believed that music mattered. The people whose lives he encountered along the way believed it too. His contemporaries include Woody Guthrie, opens a new window, Martin Luther King Jr., Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and Barack Obama. Songs Seeger popularized were performed by Led Zeppelin, Amy Winehouse, Sinead O'Connor, Lead Belly, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, and so many others.

We shall overcome,

We shall overcome,

We shall overcome some day;

Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,

We shall overcome some day.

On the 100 year anniversary of the birth of a true American treasure, go back and listen to the beloved songs of Pete Seeger. If you are new to Seeger's music, the library has plenty to listen to and you can even stream his music, opens a new window from our streaming service, hoopla.

Let us know your favorite Pete Seeger songs in the comments below!