Customer Review

10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy even if you disagree with his politics, 8 Mar 2003
This review is from: If I Had a Hammer - Songs of Hope & Struggle (Audio CD)
Pete was famous for his left-wing politics, strongly in support of industrial trade unions and against war. This collection brings together his best political songs, which are enjoyable even for those (like me) who disagree with him. Although they were a product of their times, some of these songs prove that some things never change, being just as valid (or not) today as they were back then.
The compilation is arranged with all the songs for each theme grouped together. The title track serves as an introduction, and is followed by eight songs about workers and unions, then five songs championing peace, then four civil rights songs, ending with eight songs of hope, the last being the title track again.
Pete recorded many albums of political songs, so this CD can only offer a small sample, but the essentials are here, including Where have all the flowers gone, We shall overcome and Turn turn turn - this last song, taking its lyrics from the Book of Revelations in the bible, became famous after the Byrds covered it.
While some will regard most of these songs as confirming their beliefs, those who disagree can listen to them, partly with amusement and partly as a reminder that a significant number of people agree with Pete, so nothing should ever be taken for granted. I only wish that people with different political views could express themselves equally effectively. All the great political singers take a left-wing stance, though not always as far left as Pete. Perhaps the political right never felt the need to sing about their beliefs.
The CD comes with an extensive booklet describing how many of these songs came to be written (not always by Pete) as far as is known. Like the songs themselves, you can enjoy reading about them whatever your politics.
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Location: Leicester England

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