Remembering Pete Seeger

Thank You, Pete

Last night I heard Pete Seeger died
It made me want to cry,
But I knew Pete wouldn’t want it that way,
So I asked myself,
“What would Pete want to say?” . . . And immediately, I knew.


He’d say, “There’s a Hell of a Hoot in Heaven tonight.”

And all are welcome, that’s the invite,

Woody will be there. Odetta will too.

Brownie and Sonny, and Phil will all call

You won’t want to miss it,

It’ll be quite a DO

Folks of all colors, short ones and tall,

Angels organizing,


So come one, and come all.

Yes . . . Thank you, Pete,
For “The Goofin’ Off Suite,”                                         
And for all the folks
That you helped us meet,
For the union maid,
Who never was afraid,
For Hudie, the Weavers,                      
And the songs you made.
For teaching us how
To make a garden grow,
“Inch by Inch” and
“Row by Row.”
And singing us the story
        about A-bi-yo-yo
For courage displayed
In McCarthy’s dark days
For teaching us peace
Is the only sane way,
For letting us know
The best way to show
That we love Uncle Sam
Was to leave Vietnam
When “the Big Fool said
     To push on.”
And “bring ‘em home, bring ‘em home, bring ‘em home.”
Yes, thank you, Pete,
I must repeat,
For music so stirring
       And lyrics so neat,
For asking in song,
      “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”
For being committed
      To righting the wrongs,
Not sitting so glum,
In the face of things dumb,                                        
For teaching us all,
“We Shall Overcome.”                                                  
For cleaning the Hudson
       With the Clearwater Sloop
No more GE PCBs
No more untreated poop.


Yes, there’ll be a Hell of a Hoot in Heaven tonight.

Pete’ll be leading. It’ll be quite a sight.

Singing it twice at the same time,                                                      

                As Arlo has joked

Up Jacob’s Ladder we’ll climb

              Voices united in hope.  

And the Bells of Rhymney will ring out so fine,

“Who robbed the miner?” Pete will remind.

So thank you, Pete, we’re all better for you.

There’ll be a Hell of a Hoot in Heaven tonight,

I’ve no doubt, no doubt,

               no doubt that it’s true!

(c) Jeff Schwartz, 2014.