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realclearworld

“We Shall Overcome” (despite people like Pete Seeger)

pete_seeger_we_shall_overseegerpeteseegerbiscet

"Pete Seeger was America's conscience, an advocate for peace and civil rights." (Eulogy by Los Angeles Times.)

In brief: In 1999 famous peacenik Pete Seeger proudly visited the Stalinist dictator who brought the world closest to nuclear war of any person in history to eagerly accept an award “against racism” from the Stalinist/Apartheid regime that jailed and tortured the longest suffering black political prisoners in modern history. In 2007 this very regime booted the visiting black American jazz musician Youman Wilder.

His offense?

Straying from the Stalinist regime's official song-list and singing the famous Pete Seeger arrangement, We Shall Overcome!

This last fascinating datum courtesy of Henry Gomez in the inimitable Babalu Blog!)

In brief: the arranger and populizer of We Shall Overcome was honored to be honored with the highest cultural award by the regime that banned the singing of his most famous song! In an intellectually sane world such an item would go viral. (Writers for Letterman, Leno, Stewart, Kimmel, Fallon--any of you guys out there?)

Our friends at Townhall help disseminate a few items mostly unknown outside a few tiny enclaves in South Florida.

3 comments to “We Shall Overcome” (despite people like Pete Seeger)

  • asombra

    Sure they banned that song in Cuba. It's only OK to overcome right-wing oppression. Read the memo next time.

  • asombra

    Ah, yes, another pasty white boy who wanted to put some color in his life.

  • joelima

    BTW does anybody know the story of how Seeger's name ended up on the copyright of "Guantanamera?" Cabrera Infante wrote about this, I believe. I recognize that Seeger "adapted" Marti's words into English but if I'm not mistaken (and hey, I may well be) even versions of the song that don't use Seeger's words somehow pay him royalties. There's also some controversy about Seeger's name having been on the African tune "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," IIRC.