The Washington Post

Music of the Movement: If I Had a Hammer

Pete Seeger’s contributions to the American Songbook are plenty, and his musical legacy has been saluted with many awards, including a Kennedy Center Honor in 1994.

His keen awareness of the struggles of the labor movement and Civil Rights Movement, and later environment concerns, has led many of the groups to adopt his songs as theirs.

At the 1963 March on Washington Peter, Paul and Mary sang a song Seeger wrote decades before: “If I Had a Hammer.”

This continues a survey of songs of the Civil Rights era, leading up to the dedication of the Rev. Martin L. King, Jr. memorial on August 28.

Here’s Pete Seeger.


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