Monday, August 30, 2010

If I Had A Hammer ~


I wonder if those guys who have been hammering in this community for the last couple of weeks have thought of using that for a theme song. They sure do hammer from morning to night. They are a very industrious team and I certainly would recommend them. They take a break at noon - all together - and return promptly. It has been unusually hot for this time of year. Walking around up there without shade, and very little breeze - they are amazing.

I got up this a.m., had flipped my calendar to September, and thought it was Labor Day. Saw a neighbor and said I did not expect the roofers to be here on a holiday. She looked at me in wonder and said, "This isn't a holiday. That's next week." I am sure she thinks I have joined the ranks of the disconnected.

Anyway, back to "If I Had A Hammer.": Pete Seeger and Lee Hays wrote the song in 1949. They were members of "THE WEAVERS" a band which did not succeed. It was brought out again in 1962 by Peter, Paul and Mary. And Trini Lopez recorded it a little later. The song was intended as support for the progressive movement on labor rights. It speaks of using the hammer, the work bell and labor songs, encouraging "the people" to use their tools to speak out for themselves for labor equality. It speaks for collective action by laborers. And then - finally - "I've got a hammer, And I've got a bell, And I've got a song to sing - All over this land.
It's the hammer of justice, It's the bell of freedom, It's the song about love between my brothers and my sistrs - All over this land.

(Political note from me: It was the right thing when the progressives advocated collective "speaking out" - but now those who collectively speak out are considered rabble-rousers by those who set the bar. Hmmmmm -)

If I Had A Hammer is several Hal Leonard EZ Play books, and some of the Fake Book both EZ Play and conventional. Even if you don't like the sentiment - personally I do - the song is fun to play on several different rhythms on the Lowrey Organs and probably on the Roland, or any number of key boards. I HAPPEN TO LOVE MY LOWREY!

Pete Seeger was a really great musician. A product of his time and dedicated to his work, his music always seemed to have a purpose other than just to entertain. It was a serious time, those days when war was terribly unpopular and the emotion was taken out on the brave armies doing what they are trained to do. I would celebrate Mr. Seeger and his talent, the times - they were shameful.

"The times, they are a changin' " - so KEEP A SONG IN YOUR HEART and KEEP THE MUSIC PLAYING.


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