Pete Seeger’s Unique Machine of Transformation



Musician and activist Pete Seeger, who passed away yesterday, early on discovered a simple, powerful machine for transformation: his banjo inscribed with the words:

This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender. 

Andrew Sullivan/The New York Times

Andrew Sullivan/The New York Times

He was rarely without it and used it to tell stories with song that would indeed cause hate and darkness to surrender. It worked along this principle:

The key to the future of the world is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known. —Pete Seeger



…gonna miss that guy…

There’s a beauty of a slideshow here about old Pete.

3 Responses to Pete Seeger’s Unique Machine of Transformation

  1. Andrea Raisfeld 01.29.2014 at 7:50am #

    The message on Pete’s guitar, and of course in his music, was inspired by Woody Guthrie, in whose tracks he surely walked. Guthrie’s guitar was famously inscribed with the words “This machine kills fascists.” Billy Bragg, the British singer song-writer has the same words on his guitar, as a tribute to the power of the folk-singer to push social change.

  2. Clare 01.29.2014 at 3:54pm #

    This is lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Sally 01.30.2014 at 5:51pm #

    Thanks so much Andrea. It’s great to know the roots, and the evolution.

Leave A Comment

subscribing = loving

If the Improvised Life is a source of creativity, inspiration, ideas and change in your daily life, please consider becoming a Friend with Benefits. A little bit goes a long way towards helping us publish fresh AD-FREE content each day.