IF I HAD A HAMMER

 

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Aligi Sassu

 

IF  I  HAD  A  HAMMER

If I had a hammer,
I’d hammer in the morning
I’d hammer in the evening,
All over this land.
I’d hammer out danger,
I’d hammer out a warning,
I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

If I had a bell,
I’d ring it in the morning,
I’d ring it in the evening,
All over this land.
I’d ring out danger,
I’d ring out a warning
I’d ring out love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

If I had a song,
I’d sing it in the morning,
I’d sing it in the evening,
All over this land.
I’d sing out danger,
I’d sing out a warning
I’d sing out love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

Well I got a hammer,
And I got a bell,
And I got a song to sing, all over this land.
It’s the hammer of Justice,
It’s the bell of Freedom,
It’s the song about Love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.
It’s the hammer of Justice,
It’s the bell of Freedom,
It’s the song about Love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

 

This song was written by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays in 1949, and first performed publicly in New York City at a testimonial dinner for the leaders of the Communist Party of the United States, on trial in federal court because they had been charged with promoting the overthrow of the U.S. government.
It was also performed in 1963 at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech

The “hammer” in this song is a metaphor for power, and a call to use that power to promote love and fight injustice.
The civil rights movement embraced ‘If I Had A Hammer’ as a kind of an anthem, but that song was also employed by other movements like the peace movement and the environmental movement. As with many other songs that empower with the sense of elasticity, it can always relate to the world as it evolves.

(The History of Rock Music : songs)

 

 

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