In Memoriam Pete Seeger

News reaches Mr Key’s waxy ears of the death of Pete Seeger (1919 – 2014), so it seems appropriate to repost this piece from five years ago.

I had a hammer. I hammered in the morning. I hammered in the evening all over this land. I hammered out danger. I hammered out a warning. I hammered out love between my brothers and my sisters all over this land. They should have seen that coming. As I said, before I hammered the love out of them, I hammered out a warning. It was hardly my fault if they thought I was just larking about. Personally, if I had seen one of my siblings roaring towards me at dusk, armed with a hammer, I’d have made a run for it, particularly when it was clear I had been hammering things all day all over this land.

Anyway, I had a good night’s sleep, and the next day I continued hammering. There was not much left to hammer in this land, so I crossed the border. I hammered the fence and the border guards, and then I had a happy day hammering everything that lay in my path in this new country. Bang bang bang, that was me, with the occasional dull thump if I hammered something soft and squishy. I didn’t discriminate. If I saw it, I hammered it, it really was as simple as that.

But then I was fortunate to have such a good hammer. When my hammering was still in the planning stages, it was suggested to me that I should obtain a silver hammer from Maxwell’s. “Pshaw!” I said. I actually said “Pshaw!”, like a character in a bad play from the interwar years. But I was right to do so. Maxwell’s silver hammer was fashionable enough, in its time, but the kind of hammering I intended to do required something sturdier, a real thumper. So I got my hammer from Hubermann’s. I was so pleased with it that I hammered my way out of the shop, and didn’t stop hammering until I got home.

It was the following day that I started to hammer all over this land. Then, the day after that, I hammered my way half way across the neighbouring land. It was much bigger, and much more densely packed with people and things, so I had a lot more hammering to do than in my own land. But eventually I got to the frontier, having hammered pretty much everything in sight. As I nestled down for the night in a border chalet, I inspected my hammer, and was pleased to see that it was almost as good as new. There were a couple of scuff-marks, and quite a lot of blood, but otherwise it looked as if it would serve me well for as long as I continued hammering, all over as many lands as I descended upon, like an angel of death, with my hammer.

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