I’m hearing this song in my head tonight, as I wonder what happened to the Blizzard of 2015 — and wonder about other things, too:
It’s so outrageous that it’s almost beyond outrage.
A TV commercial for the tax-return outfit Jackson-Hewitt features a soundtrack of “I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad” — sung by the late, great Pete Seeger.
It’s an old-late 1950/early 1960s Smithsonian Folkway, recording so I’m assuming that Pete’s family has no control over how it’s used. And his performance is from the late 1950/early 1960s vintage Smithsonian Folkways recordings, so perhaps those recordings are now also beyond the reach of copyright protections. .
Doesn’t matter. Pete Seeger would never, ever allow his voice to be used for a TV commercial unless it was to promote a cause.
I hope the Seeger family will demand that Jackson-Hewitt pull the commercial — or at least change the soundtrack. And I’d suggest asking — or demanding — that the tax-preparation firm makes a big donation to Pete’s beloved Clearwater Foundation.
Before he performed solo, of course, Pete Seeger was a member of the legendary group The Weavers. Before that, Pete — along with his pal Woody Guthrie — was a member of the Almanac Singers. Here they are singing an appropriate song:
I post this video without comment…Well, OK, with just two comments:
1) This video by someone named Mark Gormley may be the worst video ever.
2) When I watch this video, all I want to do is shout out to the girl, “Run for your life! Get off the beach! That creepy guy Mark Gormley with the high-pitched voice is heading toward the beach! Run!”
I love this painting of Sixth Avenue and the Jefferson Street Market. The former prison had been converted to a library by the time I moved to Chelsea after graduating from college. This great old structure was my local library branch!
Walter Brightwell painted this scene, according to Artnet, naming it “Looking Down Sixth Avenue Towards the Jefferson Market Library Building.”
The painting looks like it was done in the 1940s, but interestingly, Jefferson Market didn’t became a NYPL library branch until the 1960s.
One of the most hauntingly beautiful — and awfully sad — songs ever written or sung by human voice.
One of my New Year’s resolutions is to try to find a way to never listen to this song ever again…