Turn! Turn! Turn!

To everything there is a season….


Turn! Turn! Turn!

To everything
There is a season
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything ……

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything ……

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

To everything ……

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time of peace, I swear it’s not too late


“Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)” is often abbreviated to “Turn! Turn! Turn!“.

It is a song adapted from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible (with the exception of the repetition of “Turn” and of the last line) and put to music by Pete Seeger in 1959. The cover version  by the American band “The Byrds” became a hit in  1965.

It is one of the  few examples in popular music in which a large portion of Scripture is set to music. Its lyrics are very old since many Biblical scholars believe Ecclesiastes implies King Solomon as the book’s author ( Solomon was born in 1011 BC approx..).

Here’s the Biblical text:

  1. To every  thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
  2. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
  3. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
  4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
  5. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
  6. A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
  7. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
  8. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

The central purpose of the Biblical passage is to convey the idea that everything has a certain time and place when it is appropriate. It creates this view be repeating a series of phrases.

The song version presents the same phrases, but through the repetition of certain ones, and an addition of an additional line at the end (“I swear it’s not too late” ), recalls the ‘peace’ movement, which was popular at the time it  was written. Thus, the central purpose of the song is to convey the idea that everything has its time and place, and war must be replaced by peace.






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