Pete Seeger - TURN! TURN! TURN!

First performance: 25/04/2006


Coverinfo

Bruce Springsteen covered the song 2 times :
 
 
2006-04-25 - CONVENTION HALL, ASBURY PARK, NJ (Rehearsal Show)
Third public rehearsal show for the upcoming tour. "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season)" replaces "My City Of Ruins" in its first ever Springsteen performance and its only performance with The Sessions Band, performed as a duet with Marc Anthony Thompson. 
 
Roger McGuinn of The Byrds guests for tour one-offs "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season)" and "Mr. Tambourine Man". 
 
This  live 23 Apr 2008 version was officially released in 2008. On 15 Jul 2008, Columbia Records released Magic Tour Highlights, a Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band download-only digital EP consisting of four live audio tracks and their accompanying videos. The performances were recorded in March and April 2008 during the Magic Tour, and feature guest musicians, as well as Danny Federici's last performance with the group. Bob Clearmountain mixed and Bob Ludwig mastered the songs. Frequent Springsteen collaborator and Grammy and Emmy Award winner Thom Zimny edited the videos.
 
  • ALWAYS A FRIEND, performed with Alejandro Escovedo, recorded live on 14 Apr 2008 at Toyota Center in Houston, TX
  • THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD, performed with Tom Morello, recorded live on 07 Apr 2008 at Honda Center in Anaheim, CA
  • TURN! TURN! TURN! (TO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON), performed with Roger McGuinn, recorded live on 23 Apr 2008 at Amway Arena in Orlando, FL
  • 4TH OF JULY, ASBURY PARK (SANDY), Danny Federici's final performance with the E Street Band, recorded live on 20 Mar 2008 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indian  
 
 
 
 
Intro
 
We have a special guest with us tonight, somebody whose music we really grew up on and who's been a tremendous influence in my music. This is the guy that kinda single-handedly invented Country Rock, invented jangling guitars , Folk Rock and uh, just uh, Space Rock too, absolutely! .. And ... he's made so much incredible beautiful, beautiful music. We're honoured to have on our stage, from the Byrds, Mr. Roger McGuinn. 
 
 
 

Songinfo

Turn ! Turn ! Turn ! (To everything there is a season ) often abbreviated to TURN! TURN! TURN!, is a song written and composed by Pete Seeger but made famous by The Byrds in 1965.  The lyrics – except for the title, which is repeated throughout the song, and the final two lines – are adapted word-for-word from the first eight verses of the third chapter of the biblical Book of Ecclesiastes. The song was originally released in 1962 as "To Everything There Is a Season" on folk group the Limeliters' album Folk Matinee, and then some months later on Seeger's own The Bitter and the Sweet. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

The Biblical text posits there being a time and place for all things: laughter and sorrow, healing and killing, war and peace, and so on. The lines are open to myriad interpretations, but Seeger's song presents them as a plea for world peace because of the closing line: "a time for peace, I swear it's not too late." This line and the title phrase "Turn! Turn! Turn!" are the only parts of the lyric written by Seeger himself. The song is notable for being one of a few instances in popular music in which a large portion of the Bible is set to music, other examples being the Melodians' "Rivers of Babylon", Sister Janet Mead's "The Lord's Prayer", U2's "40", Sinead O'Connor's "Psalm 33" and Cliff Richard's "The Millennium Prayer". 
 
He waited until 1962 to record the song, releasing it in May 1962 on his album The Bitter And The Sweet on Columbia Records. The song can now be be found on several Pete Seeger compilations, including The Essential Pete Seeger (Sony).
 
 

Other cover versions

 

Bruce on the artist

In 2006, Bruce released  the album ' We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions' . The album contains Springsteen's interpretation of thirteen folk music songs associated with Pete Seeger. The project began in late 1997 when Springsteen agreed to contribute a recording for an upcoming Pete Seeger tribute album on Appleseed Recordings. "Growing up a rock n' roll kid I didn't know a lot about Pete's music or the depth of his influence," Springsteen later wrote in the liner notes of his 2006 album. He headed to the record store, came back with an armful of Pete Seeger records, and proceeded to investigate and listen to his music.
 
More info on Springsteenlyrics.
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
"As Pete and I traveled to Washington for President Obama's Inaugural Celebration, he told me the entire story of "We Shall Overcome". How it moved from a labor movement song and with Pete's inspiration had been adapted by the civil rights movement. That day as we sang "This Land Is Your Land" I looked at Pete, the first black president of the United States was seated to his right, and I thought of the incredible journey that Pete had taken. My own growing up in the sixties in towns scarred by race rioting made that moment nearly unbelievable and Pete had thirty extra years of struggle and real activism on his belt. He was ao happy that day, it was like, Pete, you outlasted the bastards, man!...It was so nice. At rehearsals the day before, it was freezing, like fifteen degrees and Pete was there; he had his flannel shirt on. I said, man, you better wear something besides that flannel shirt! He says, yeah, I got my longjohns on under this thing. And I asked him how he wanted to approach "This Land Is Your Land". It would be near the end of the show and all he said was, "Well, I know I want to sing all the verses, I want to sing all the ones that Woody wrote, especially the two that get left out, about private property and the relief office." I thought, of course, that's what Pete's done his whole life. He sings all the verses all the time, especially the ones that we'd like to leave out of our history as a people. At some point Pete Seeger decided he'd be a walking, singing reminder of all of America's history. He'd be a living archive of America's music and conscience, a testament of the power of song and culture to nudge history along, to push American events towards more humane and justified ends. He would have the audacity and the courage to sing in the voice of the people, and despite Pete's somewhat benign, grandfatherly appearance, he is a creature of a stubborn, defiant, and nasty optimism. Inside him he carries a steely toughness that belies that grandfatherly facade and it won't let him take a step back from the things he believes in. At 90, he remains a stealth dagger through the heart of our country's illusions about itself. Pete Seeger still sings all the verses all the time, and he reminds us of our immense failures as well as shining a light toward our better angels and the horizon where the country we've imagined and hold dear we hope awaits us. Now on top of it, he never wears it on his sleeve. He has become comfortable and casual in this immense role. He's funny and very eccentric. I'm gonna bring Tommy out, and the song Tommy Morello and I are about to sing I wrote in the mid-nineties and it started as a conversation I was having with myself. It was an attempt to regain my own moorings. Its last verse is the beautiful speech that Tom Joad whispers to his mother at the end of The Grapes of Wrath."

'Wherever there's a cop beatin' a guy
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Where there's a fight 'gainst the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me Mom I'll be there'

"Well, Pete has always been there. For me that speech is always aspirational. For Pete, it's simply been a way of life. The singer in my song is in search of the ghost of Tom Joad. The spirit who has the guts and toughness to carry forth, to fight for and live their ideals. I'm happy to report that spirit, the very ghost of Tom Joad is with us in the flesh tonight. He'll be on this stage momentarily, he's gonna look an awful lot like your granddad who wears flannel shirts and funny hats. He's gonna look like your granddad if your granddad could kick your ass. ..

This is for Pete... "
 

Lyrics

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven
A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven
A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven
A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time for peace, I swear its not too late