June 16th, 2011
Pete Seeger
The Power of Song

This program will air an encore broadcast on August 26, 2011 at 9:30 p.m. (check local listings).

Where Have all the Flowers Gone is a singalong memoir written by Pete Seeger. This book is now in its third printing (including revisions and additional material). Stories and anecdotes are supported chronologically with approximately 200 songs (music and lyrics) that Pete wrote or with which he is associated – “Guantanamera,” “Where Have All The Flowers Gone,” “If I Had A Hammer,” “Turn Turn Turn,” “Wimoweh,” “We Shall Overcome” plus some new songs and more. Within these pages, Pete provides perspectives on everything from songwriting and the music business to social activism – including insight drawn from his experiences with the labor, peace, civil rights and environmental movements.

These pages from Where Have all the Flowers Gone feature one of the newer songs written by Pete, added to the book for this new edition. “Take It from Dr. King” is Pete’s tribute to the late, great civil rights leader.

  • Katherine Zieman

    What can we do now for Obama and the US using Pete Seeger’s singing and techniques?

  • Derek Welch

    Great show about a great folk singer and a great AMERICAN.

  • Ms. JW Wostal

    Katherine, I was thinking the same thing. Let’s put our heads together & work it out. Plenty would want to join. jwwostal@sbcglobal.net jw

  • Therese Williams

    What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul. We too have an election in Canada and wish we could find it in our hearts to vote with our hearts for a cleaner, safer world for all. Maybe if all the candidate sat down to watch Pet Seeger…

  • Connie DeNault

    I too thought the documentary was extraordinary.
    And I couldn’t help but make the association between
    Pete Seeger and Obama’s campaign for president.
    I sense a similarity of spirit and it would be
    wonderful to bring community song into the campaign.

    I know some friends who are working the Kauai, Hawaii
    campaign. I think I’ll mention it to them.

  • Keith Tonkin

    I’ve always believed that the greatest patriots are those who are not afraid to criticise. Pete Seeger, who has always been a warrior for social justice, turned me on to the ills of this world but also gave me hope that “We shall Overcome”
    My grandfather and my father fought in two world wars. I marched in my country against the war in Vietnam and now my son as a Masters graduate aims to work for an NGO Third World development programme. My Grandfather would be proud of him. Pete Seeger has had a lot to do with the course my family has taken.
    Unfortunately I recently met, in the USA, a boy just returned from his duty in Iraq. He said he went because his grandfather and father fought for their country so he figured it was his duty to do so too regardless of the reason for the war.
    I’m reminded of Pete Seeger’s words
    “To Fight perchance to Win, aye there’s the rub.
    For Victory brings Power and Prestige,
    And the Children of the Children of the Fighters,
    Take all for granted and, in turn Opress.”

  • Anne Krieg

    One of my favorite songs from the sixties is Pete’s “I Can See a New Day”. It seems especially timely today, and I hope that he will lead it at his and Arlo Guthrie’s song fest at Carnegie Hall with their families this Saturday.

  • BMcC

    He is a nominee for a Grammy – let’s hope he receives this well-deserved honor.

  • Valerie Smith

    Per Katherine Zieman and JW Wostal’s comments, I can just imagine all 1 million gathered at the upcoming inauguration singing “We Shall Overcome” – perhaps changing it to “We Have Overcome”. I’m delighted to note that he is a nominee for a Grammy. I have very much enjoyed The Power of Song when it’s been broadcast on PBS.

  • Andrea Burrows

    The Power of Song from the life of Pete Seeger brought me to tears. He is truly a man of integrity, courage and great talent. What a wonderful human being he is. The documentary was very powerful. I am so greatful to PBS for providing this programming for us.

  • Aaron Priven

    Valerie, I think it will be a long time before we have overcome. But Pete helped us go forward on the path.

  • kiyohide kunizaki

    from japan

    we would like to see the film the power of song.

  • Waldo

    I grew up on the Weavers and songs like “Abiyoyo”… I hope from the Obama inauguration concert- or maybe the appearance on Letterman singing Take It From Dr. King (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4yKFsanqSo) – I hope lots of younger people come to this site and learn more about Seeger and his legacy.

  • Mike Matthews

    I have lived in the Hudson Valley for my entire life (44 yrs.) and only recently have “discovered” Pete Seeger, and I am in complete awe of his life. I feel almost cheated for not knowing about him, even though as a grade school student I was taught a lot of songs and to know he lived here in the Hudson Valley my life, is kind of like opening your back door one day to see the Grand Canyon. The more I learn about him the more I cannot help to think that the path our country has taken over the course of the last 60 or so years, has been morally and figuratively guided along by Pete. The way he has lived his life, never shrinking in the face adversity, taking on the good fight, seeing both sides of issues and all without malice towards those who wished to silence him. I would have to dub him the “American Saint”.

  • Cindyrae

    would very much like to contact Pete Seeger, my husband is the exec. producer of Moody Blugrass, and is currently working on Moody Bluegrass Two Much Love, Another Nashville Tribute to the Moody Blues. He’d like to invite Pete. Is this at all possible?
    Plz advise! Thanks much!

  • Robert A Burke

    The power of song opened my eyes to a lot of things that pete seeger helped change that might still be swept under the carpet,hadn’t been for PETE SEEGER.

  • Sandi

    I have to admit, Pete (and Arlo – and his dad, Woody’s music), helped me raise my kids to possess the values and beliefs they possess to this day – justice, fairness, and equality/equity.

    If they want to call us “Socialists” so be it — we just believe those who produce should be FAIRLY rewarded for their efforts – not just feed the greed of the CEOs and Corporate Executives who make millions and/or billions while others lose their livelihoods and/or retirement savings.

  • Valerie Smith

    Anything is possible; remember the Six? Degrees of Separation? The only question is, how to make the connection to him – how to make that happen?

  • Emily MacIntosh

    I am looking forward to his 90th Birthday celebration at MSG in NYC the day after tomorrow! :) Inspiring, wonderful man. I am fortunate to live in the same town, Beacon, NY, as Pete Seeger, where he is very much visable and active. If you want to contact him you can at:: Pete Seeger, P.O. Box 431, Beacon, NY 12508. :)

  • Adele

    Like many of the others that posted, I grew up on Pete Seeger’s music. I had the pleasure of meting him, as well as the other members of the Weavers) at the rehearsal party for their 1980 reunion at Carnegie Hall. Even though I was only 10 years old at the time, meeting them most definitely shaped my life. Thank you Pete for teaching me that dreams are possible if you’re willing to stand up for what you believe in.

  • Rita

    I grew up singing Pete Seeger songs..Innocent of what transpired in his life and the secrets of how he and his family were treated by the FBI seems to defeat the purpose of democracy. It is all kind of confusing to say the least as Pete Seeger songs encouraged all of us to take part of being part of the solution and caring for the environment around us to have a future for ourselves and the children of our children.

  • http://wecan.be/beinspired/605/ Pete Seeger: The Power of Song @ Plan Be – we can be the change

    [...] Where Have all the Flowers Gone is a sing-along memoir written by Pete Seeger. This book is now in its third printing (including revisions and additional material). Stories and anecdotes are supported chronologically with approximately 200 songs (music and lyrics) that Pete wrote or with which he is associated – “Where Have All The Flowers Gone,” “If I Had A Hammer,” “Turn Turn Turn,” “We Shall Overcome” plus some new songs and more. Within these pages, Pete provides perspectives on everything from songwriting and the music business to social activism – including insight drawn from his experiences with the labour, peace, civil rights and environmental movements. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/pete-seeger/the-power-of-song/50/ [...]

  • jane sloane

    Hello from Australia – I’m wanting to organise an interview with Pete Seeger for a global peace initiative that will take place in Australia at the end of this year and would be grateful if anyone can provide contact details to assist this – many thanks Jane Sloane

  • Candy

    So many of us grew up on his songs, and those of the Weavers and their ilk. What a gift to have him as an inspiration! His music has touched 4 generations in my family. It warms my heart to read these comments and see that he still moves us to be better people.

  • Victorio Roland Mousaa

    I performed at MSG with PETE… “Our plight shall be heard and seen…” Victorio Roland Mousaa (NAICA)

  • Sam’l A. Weston

    The fact that Pete and The Weavers were black listed in the 1950’s by the US government proves that he is a powerful force in the entire world and had those fools scared to death. His music and his personal exanple will live for hundreds of years and perhaps help us to last that long. He has no peer! His greatest contribution is that he made us all feel much better about being a member of the human race. He actually created all the great folk artists who arose later.
    He does deserve the Nobel Peace Prize 40 years ago. What is the hold-up?

    An ignurt hillbilly.
    Sam’l A. Weston

  • Peter

    It wouldve been good if Bob Dylan turned up, but wasnt Seeger incensed about Bobs electric performance at Newport in the 60s and gonna cut the cables? As legend goes. Im sure he did what he thought was right at the time and Im sure hes a nice guy but I dont feel his music ever progressed beyond the form he had it in in the 50’s 60’s, essentially nursery rhymes. As a man he stands for social justice, but as a songwriter and singer I think he was lucky

  • Victorio Roland Mousaa

    “Our plight shall heard and seen… even tho PBS cut us Native American Indians out!” Victorio Roland Mousaa (I performed at MSG)

  • Wayne Johnson

    Coming of age in the 60,s I remember Pete,s show on PBS and how it moved me as a young man.I’ve always believed that Pete’s was the little voice in the back of our heads urging us towards the right path

  • Daniel Cherry

    I just watched the pete seeger american masters,,The power of song is great.It can heal wounds and solve world problems and injustice.We as musicians need to carry on with his tradition.I wish i could take my boys to meet a great man like him.I know my boys have also heard his songs in school.They are 11 and 12.I have been to the hudson river festival in the early 80s.My mom kept telling me how great a man was to sing at the festival.I was young and ignorant and too busy looking for a restroom to relieve the beer.I wante to see a stupid police rock band man was i ever ignorant then!!I have a saying hanging above my camode-toilet.It says its not what we have that makes hapiness its how we enjoy our lives.I believe that to be true.I have a channel LetArtsLive on you tube.I need to make a song and video to thank him.The music is timeless.It still means a lot.Like end the war would be a good start.I believe in a cause to end the war.LetArtsLive is not a commercial enterprise.Its all about art and music.I am a local photographer.I cant afford 100$ to get the video.I found the one about Patti Smith at a record store.Does WXXi rochester accept art photography for donations to auction?My boys need to know the true history like pbs tells it.The schools do not teach these things do they?Time warner shut off buffalo pbs which was rotten.WNED is gone from lousy monopolizing time warner.Why??Daniel Cherry.Cherry Picss Photography.By the way artists do starve real ones do.But they give something back to the people timeless images…..

  • John Eikelenboom

    The power of song truly humbied me. Iwas a child of the sixties and grew up watching the vietnam war and the antiwar protests on the evening news As a child those days had a tremendous effect on me andthe music I listened to. Thank you so very, very much for the Power of Song and its touching music, it brought me to tears.Tell the world to do the right thing and give Pete Seeger the nobel peace prize, he truly deserves it.
    PLease tell me where I can hear him sing this summer It is something I have to do. THank you Pete Seeger for helping to shape my life

  • Marilyn Banman

    HELP ME PLEASE! I have tried many places on the computer to find “Watching the Dandelions Grow”, can somebody help me find the video and the chords? I love that song – along with all the others….

  • Tim Bradbury

    Marilyn, is that the Peter Paul and Mary song Right Field?

    Saturday Summers when I was a kid… see link


    Kind regards, Tim

  • Ken Deason

    What an outstanding video of the man, his life and convictions. It was on our local PBS station, WBHM in Birmingham last evening, 22 August 2010. And being from the “Folk music, Hippie, Viet Nam era generation,” which I served my country in the US ARmy during that time, I truly miss the music which brought so many of us together. But not only Pete Seeger, but Peter, Paul and Mary, along with so many others. Keep up the good programming.

  • jen sed ten

    I live in Olympia, Wa. I spent time treesitting in Oldgrowth Forests, I have been inspired by natures frequencies through sound. I have a son now and we find music from the library to explore great music and the people who create it. I want Pete Seeger to come to our Library and sing for our children here. Our town is special and the music coming from place may interest Pete. Like attracts to like.

  • j.goldbach ohio

    pete seeger is my life, our mentor he is what those of the 50,s&60,s were all about! that we love our country, but should never trust our govt. is validated with blacklisting and all that govt deception since. As aveteran I embrace the principals of our democracy and will defend them , but believe we must strive to, GivePEACE A CHANCE.

  • Kwame Ocansey

    Pete and I have been talking about a show where part of the time will be devoted to his stories of his compositions while children of all ages, choirs and individuals perform the songs. A date has been set for this and all is ready for his visit to Middletown, CT. on Thursday, March 10, 2011.
    He will perform, teach new songs and lead sing-a-longs too

    Event will be from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at ..- at Cross St AME zion Church on 440 West St.

    At 91, this may be one of the last times you will find Pete in this neighborhood, in Connecticut.

    Come to enjoy the evening with us
    Kwame Ocansey

    860 342-5490
    860 881 4894

  • John Les, North Wales Bluegrass Festival, Dear Pete, please can you get in touch with your old guitar maker 1961-64, some thanks for his contribution, to you music ( sound)

    Hello Pete, would you please contact Mr. Stan Francis the maker of your two early guitars, as he has never had a mention in any of your writings, you said in Liverpool, he was the finest guitar maker in the world, Stan is with me this weekend at my Bluegrass Festival, a word would make him very happy indeed. He is still making the best guitars, thank you JL


    Mr. pete. I remember when you came to my school in nyc in 1967……… you played your banjo and we all sang and laughed. then when i got home and showed my mom your autograph she said you were one of those communists. well i always thought you were a very nice person whether you were a communist or not and i still admire you today.
    a fellow communist bastard

  • Gary Meale

    Mr. Seeger not only a great American – but a true patriot…

    “Communists are not villians!” – Robert A Heinlein – 1961

  • Sally Meyer

    Please let Mr Seeger see these words I wrote and set to music. I do not wish to make fame or money just know the message is important.
    Thank you for your time.
    Sally Meyer aka(Shealray)

    “What About Me” was written years ago when my teenage daughter asked me the question “What About Me?” This is asked of each generation past present and future. Perhaps the answer is right in front of us. We only have to look with different eyes to see it.

    What About Me?

    There’s a war going on though no one speaks of it.
    Clouded by the issues that no one will admit.
    From the oldest to the youngest and the one’s you cannot see.
    Every one is crying “What About Me?”

    What About Me? Am I not worth fighting for?
    What About Me? Don’t I exist?
    What About Me? I have a right you know.
    Say’s each generation to the next.

    It’s a crazy mixed up world where everyone disagrees.
    Looking for the answers that nobody sees.
    If you listen very closely you’ll understand the need.
    Every one is crying “What About Me?”

    What About Me? Am I not worth fighting for?
    What About Me? Don’t I exist?
    What About Me? I have a right you know
    Say’s each generation to the next.

    Look at me don’t you see that were not so very different you and me.
    Look around it is there. Takes a lot of loven when you care.

    So you can’t see the forest for looking at the trees.
    Life’s many answers just take’s you and me.
    Then we’ll look to each other and understand the need.
    Every one is crying “What About Me?”

    What About Me? Am I not worth fighting for?
    What About Me? Don’t I exist?
    What About Me? I have a right you know
    Say’s each generation to the next

    Look at me don’t you see that were not so very different you and me.
    Look around it is there. Takes a lot of loven when you care.

  • Karen Randall

    One of my strongest Oberlin College in the 1970’s memories is a Pete Seeger concert in Finney Chapel.

    There wasn’t enough room for all the people who wanted to attend. When Pete came on stage, he asked for volunteers from the audience to join him as an on stage chorus. A hundred or so jumped at the chance and swarmed up to sit on the floor behind him. Then he called to the back, “OK, now let in some more people!”

    Every song, he would just start up and we all basically took over. It was a magical evening, harmonies pouring out the windows and Wimoweh going on for 20 minutes. Bless you, Mr. Seeger, for showing us the joy of folk singing in community, something I still do 35 years later.

  • Charlotte Cook

    The American Masters documentary on Pete Seeger I just watched was wonderful and very uplifting. I too would like to explore how we could bring our country back together through song — perhaps a singing congress?!

  • Spyros Svoronos

    My mother introduced me to Pete Seeger’s powerful voice when I was a boy growing up in Greece. One of the most memorable experiences in my life was a concert he gave at the University of Minnesota (probably 1979 or 1980). Pete has a magical ability to transform the audience, to project optimism, and to inspire. He has made the world a better place. Thank you Pete Seeger.

  • Jan Boogman

    What a program !

  • Holly Imhoff

    My husband and I just watched the documentary and it brought tears to our eyes. We remember the struggles, the injustices suffered, the fear in our country. We also remember the progress forged with the undeniable energy and focus of Pete’s music. My wish now is that the current and future generations care enough about what is going on around the world to want to make a difference the way Pete does. He is truly a remarkable and brave AMERICAN PATRIOT!

  • Harry Moore

    Wow. I Really enjoyed the show and was truly enlightened and reminded of true nature of spirit on earth as an evolutionary incarnate longing for balance in an unbalanced Society. We must forge forward and humble ourselves so we may continue to be cognitive of the past and be grateful of the Past strife and how Music is one of the many Keys to a Future worth the academic discourse. I am reminded that there is same amount of salt in a tear of joy as in a tear of sadness. Peace and Love to all.

  • Bonnie Sheller

    We need Pete to stand up and fight for us today – with the same energy and conviction that he did in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. What an inspiration he is to us all. He truly made a difference through his music and his example. This program was remarkable. BRAVO!

  • Tara

    Hi… does anyone know if Mr. Seeger still makes public appearances? I work at a performing arts Pre School and Kindergarten and I appreciate everything he does… I thought it would be so neat to have him do Abiyoyo…or just stop by the school and see the kids who still listen to him and LOVE his stuff!!!!! Please message me at TaraLinnet@yahoo.com if anyone has any information :) Thank you so much!!!

  • carolyn christiano

    I am looking for the lyrics for “We Sing Out” anyone know them?

  • Manuel C. García

    Anyone have or know where to find subtitles in any language for this documentary? Thanks…


Produced by THIRTEEN    ©2015 Educational Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.