I think that it is fair to say that amidst all the wonderfulness that was the week of President Barack Obama’s inauguration, one of the single most moving moments was that of Pete Seeger (along with Pete’s grandson Tao Rodriguez Seeger and Bruce Springsteen) at the “We Are One” concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, leading that throng of people in an unedited version of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.” It’s a song that brings out the best in this country, and Pete is a man who has worked tirelessly all of his nearly 90 years to bring us steps closer to making the lyrics of that song a reality for everyone, not just the citizens of this country, but the citizens of the world. In my opinion (and, I’m sure, in the opinions of many), Pete personifies what is noble and good about our country, the best of what it has to offer.
With that introduction I point you in the direction of the website “A Nobel Peace Prize for Pete Seeger,” where you can sign the petition (currently at 21,783 signatures, including my own, and rising) to get Pete’s name thrown into the pot for an honor that he unquestionably deserves. I’m not going to waste words enumerating his accomplishments, but if you have any doubt as to why a Nobel Peace Prize should be his, just read the site. Either that, or rent the documentary Pete Seeger: The Power of Song that came out last year. His life—and the power of his soul—will leave you in awe.
For the sake of full disclosure, I should add that in the past few months I have been honored to have gotten to know Pete a bit, and you should know that he is everything you think he is and more. He is the real deal; he’s effing Pete Seeger.