Judy Collins: Interviewed in Australia 5/12/06: A Comment
Posted in the Pete Seeger Forum
#1 Dec 6, 2006
With several acknowledgements to the significance of Pete Seeger to her musical life, Judy Collins inspired the following prose-poem:
I listened to Judy Collins 40 years ago in my late teens and early twenties--back in the sixties--but I never heard her talk as I did in an interview this morning. I thought I might add the following personal reminiscence to your words on Collins at this site. She is in no more need of accolades after more than 40 years of them. But thank you, Judy, for so much you have given me.
TURN! TURN! TURN!
This morning I listened to a radio interview with singer and songwriter Judy Collins now in her late fifties. Margaret Throsby interviewed Collins on her ABC Radio National program, 6 December 2006. Collins informed listeners that her mentor Pete Seeger had written the words and the music to the song Turn Turn Turn as early as 1954. He did not release the song until 1962. The year 1962 was the beginning of my pioneering life in the Bahá’í community. Judy Collins sang the song on her 1963 album, Judy Collins #3. This was the year of the formation of the first Universal House of Justice. There was some significant turning going on in the Bahá’í community at the time.
Seeger had adapted the words from chapter three of the Book of Ecclesiastes, 3: 1-8 at another turning point in the history of the Bahá’í community and my own life. The words and that book of The Bible are often interpreted as conveying a spirit of fatalistic resignation. The words of Seeger's song have also been criticized as just being a series of over-simplifications. We all see things differently.
The Byrds' released a version of the same song in October 1965. Their version possessed, some felt, more optimism than previous versions. One analyst of the song said that The Byrds' release of Turn!Turn!Turn! in that October of 1965 captured the zeitgeist of the time. It was in that same month of 1965 that I decided to pioneer among the Inuit in Canada and when I arrived I played Pete Seepger Songs ad nauseam from the 12 LPs someone had given me as a wedding present.
I had, indeed, in that October of 1965, at last made a decision, a specific, a directed, a difficult decision to pioneer, to turn. This anthem of the peace movement and the civil rights cause, Turn Turn Turn could have been the anthem for my own decisions and some significant turning points in the life of my spiritual community, first at the age of 10, then at 18 and then again at the age of 21, as I started my baseball career, then finished high school and entered my last year of university.
I finally had a specific direction to my future vocational career as a teacher and to my role as a pioneer at that time in the Bahá’í community. I had done a lot of turning.-Ron Price, "Turn! Turn! Turn!" Wikipedia, 6/12/06.
They were hot days back then in '65.
Depression had lifted and those initial
erotic excitements or, perhaps it was
some quite mysterious body chemistry
had sent me into the manic phase
sufficiently below the hypomanic
to cope with life and limb and libido.
Somewhat serendipitously, it seems,
looking back after more than 40 years,
I chanced to go to Chatham--the end of
The Underground Railway--it happens--
where they came to a world of freedom1
as I--looking back--was going to my world
of freedom; or, perhaps, it was a prison,
the Most Great Prison of my life,
little did I know then in '65 when
I was just starting out on the road, Judy.
1 This town in southern Ontario was the last stop for Negroes escaping from the oppressive racism in the USA in the 19th century.
7 December 2006
That's all folks!
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