Joe Jencks

Let Me Sing You A Song

On the morning that our beloved Pete Seeger passed away, I was inspired to write a song about his testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee, back in 1955. The gentle, yet somehow joyful tone of defiance Pete had in that moment was amazing. To read the full text of his testimony is I think, a great example of how to stand up to bullies with elegance and conviction.

(For Pete Seeger - Inspired by his HUAC Testimony in 1955)

You’ve asked me here to tell you
About my neighbors and my friends
To talk about the who and what
The where and how and when
Well I won’t give you anything
You don’t already know
But if you’d like
I’ll sing that list of songs before I go

Let me sing you a song
About the people that I love
The poets and philosophers
The workers and the wanderers
The ones who walk the picket lines
Who dare to stand and fight
And the ones who hold their babies close
And rock them through the night

Now you say it’s un-American
To do the things I do
Well I sing for justice, liberty
And Civil Rights it’s true
But I say it’s un-American
To ask me how I vote
How I pray or what I believe
But here’s a song I wrote


If you want to send me to prison
I guess that’s the way it’ll be
‘Cause I won’t feed you fodder
For your paranoid machine
If the price of my silence is shackles
Well then fellas, take me away
For I will live to sing again
And rise with a brand new day

Chorus & Tag
© 1/28/14 - Joe Jencks, Turtle Bear Music, ASCAP