Turn! Turn! Turn! (to everything there is a season) – The Byrds

El pasado lunes, 27 de enero,  fallecía en Nueva York, la ciudad que le vio nacer y en la cual transcurrió  toda su larga existencia (94 años) el famoso artista folk Pete Seeger.

Pete-Seeger-murio-94-anios_CLAIMA20140128_0153_14

Seeger, como miembro del cuarteto de folk llamado The Weavers y gracias a su habilidad para componer hermosos temas, supuso una de las mayores influencias en la década de los 50 y 60 para todo el boom del género folk, que inundaría el panorama musical y las listas de éxito en los años siguientes.

Entre sus creaciones, destaca la música y la letra (adaptación del libro del Eclesiastés, del Antiguo Testamento) en el tema Turn! Turn! Turn!.

El Eclesiastés es un libro marcadamente existencialista. Tanto lo bueno como lo malo que le ocurre al hombre, tiene fecha de caducidad y por tanto, hay que saber disfrutar lo primero y saber llevar y aceptar lo segundo. Las alegrías, las penas, las adversidades y las injusticias no son eternas porque el mismo hombre está en este mundo, de paso. El inevitable afán del ser humano solo tiene una cosa segura: la muerte.

Eclesiastes

1965 fue un año muy complejo. La Guerra de Vietnam se recrudecía y las protestas contra la presencia norteamericana en aquel país, invadían los campus universitarios norteamericanos e incluso, se reproducía en otros muchos lugares del mundo.

Student_Vietnam_War_protesters

A estos movimientos había que sumar los esfuerzos antisegregacionistas, llevados a cabo por líderes como Martin Luther King, que luchaban contra la desigualdad entre blancos y negros, que aún estaba en la esencia misma de la sociedad (y especialmente, en los estados sureños). Aquel año, en respuesta, el presidente Lyndon B. Johnson promulgó la famosa Voting Rights Act (la ley de derecho de voto) por la que por primera vez, los negros tenían constitucionalmente garantizado el derecho al sufragio. Ya no tenían que pagar ningún impuesto ni mostrar certificado alguno de alfabetización para poder ejercer su derecho; lo que por otra parte, había sido empleado en muchos estados para limitar la participación de esta clase pobre y analfabeta de color.

martin

En ese contexto político y social, el tema compuesto por Pete Seeger a finales de los 50, encontraba todo su sentido. Así lo entendió la banda de folk rock de L.A., The Byrds, que incluyeron una versión del tema en su segundo álbum, titulado Turn! Turn! Turn!, y que sirvió de adelanto del mismo.

The-Byrds-II

Turn! Turn! Turn! (to everything there is a season) apareció como single en octubre de 1965, debutando en el Hot 100 a finales de ese mes. Fue ascendiendo en la lista y en la semana del 4 de diciembre de 1965, alcanzaba el número 1 del Hot 100, arrebatándole la posicion a I hear a Symphony, de The Supremes. En lo más alto, permanecieron durante tres semanas.

TheByrdsTurnTurnTurn

Esta canción, que transitó por las listas de UK (hasta el 26 en la UK Singles), es considerada por muchos como una de las cimas del  folk (más propiamente, del folk mezclado con el rock)  y además, consolidó la huella del movimiento en las listas de éxito. Contestataria y comercial: combinación explosiva, para unos tiempos convulsos.

 

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