Turn Turn Turn
Writers tackle is real. PG had several things he could write about. He was 380 pages into A Million Little Pieces, and had multiple mouthfuls to say. Multiple mouthfuls were featured on Honey Boo Boo. And of course, the matter involving David Petraeus, another General, at least two girfriends, a secret Libyan prison, and a shirtless FBI man. People were wondering how we kept up with things before twitter was invented. None of these subjects were terribly appetizing. The archive, once again, came to the rescue.
The word Ecclesiastes has always had a poetic tingle. It’s place in the Old Testament was between the poetry of Proverbs and the enticements of the Song of Soloman. Richard Brautigan counted the punctuation marks in Ecclesiastes, and found it without error. And yes, Ecclesiastes 3 was the lyrics for a top forty hit song.
Back to the dialog about war and peace. The only Tolstoy PG had read was a short story about a man called Ivan Ilyitch. It was so long ago that about all he remembers is that he read it. Still, war and peace are two constants of man’s existence. There had been a feature about this in The Aquarian Drunkard. AD is a blog written by a former Dunwoody resident who now exists in LA. The feature focused on Pete Seeger, and the song “Turn, Turn, Turn”.
TTT is taken almost verbatim from the book of Ecclesiastes. The only change that Mr. Seeger made, when he adapted the poem, was in the last line. “There is a time for peace, I swear its not too late”. TTT is about the dualities of life, and how there is a place for all these things. When PG was collecting rocks seven years ago, he kept thinking “ there is a time to gather stones together”.
Wikipedia notes that the adaptation was made “in the fifties”, which was both a time of war…both hot and cold… and a time of peace. It became a hit for the Byrds in the fall of 1965, as the escalation of the Vietnam war was in full bloom.
Pete Seeger is still alive, at the age of 92. PG first heard of him when he was on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. It was during Vietnam, and Mr. Seeger did a song…”Waist deep in the big muddy”… about how “The big fool said to push on, push on”. The CBS censors did not allow this the first time he was on, but eventually he did perform it. Many thought he was talking about Lyndon Johnson.
Two more items about Mr. Seeger, and it is time to push on. He used the stage name “Pete Bowers” as a young man to avoid making trouble for his father. And a band he played in, the Weavers, popularized a gullah spiritual, “Kumbaya”.
We are the flow, we are the ebb. We are the weaver, we are the web. This was written like H. P. Lovecraft. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. This is a repost.