On Saturday, December 26th, 50+ artists and hundreds of thousands of viewers around the world came together for Georgia Comes Alive, a virtual music festival aimed at promoting voter participation in Georgia’s critical Senate runoff elections on January 5th, 2021.
One of the many world-renowned acts to take part in the nine-hour livestream was Peter Yarrow, a co-founding member of Peter, Paul and Mary. For Peter Yarrow, however, his lifelong dedication to social activism is just as inherent to his character as his involvement with the Grammy-winning, Platinum-selling group.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee opened his segment with a welcoming rendition of Woodie Guthrie‘s “This Land Is Your Land” before shifting the spotlight to three young students of Parkland, FL’s Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School who had witnessed and survived the deadly school shooting in February 2018. The talented young women performed “The Children Will Lead The Way”, a song written collaboratively by The Parkland Project, a group of student-songwriters, musicians and vocalists from the Parkland community unifying their individual voices in a collective call for action and change. Following the Parkland Project performance, Georgia Comes Alive viewers were presented with another group of young activists from Pittsburgh-based project S.O.N.G. who, inspired by the courage of their brothers and sisters in Parkland, wrote and performed their own protest song, “The Sin of Silence”.
After the moving performances from these young students, Peter Yarrow once again appeared on camera to put the weight of his years of activism into a rendition of Bob Dylan‘s “Blowin’ In The Wind” as slides of Americans of all shapes, sizes, and colors panned across the screen.
As he finished the lyrics but continued to strum along with the chords, Yarrow spoke directly to those tuning in from across the nation. “Now, some of you know this song,” he cooed, “and I invite you to sing the chorus with me. And you think I can’t see you, but I can sense you. Sing the answer, my friends. The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind. And when I sing that, I have a sense of what that, to me, means. After all these years, the answer is compassion, empathy. If we have compassion for others, not to mention love and respect, then we know the answer, ‘How many years can some people exist before they’re allowed to be free?’ It is within our hearts if we have the compassion. And music tells that story, so try it with me, and think, ‘compassion.'”
Revisit the Peter Yarrow acoustic segment featuring The Parkland Project/S.O.N.G. initially seen during Georgia Comes Alive in the video below. If you enjoyed the show and have the means, consider donating to Georgia grassroots voter organizations via GeorgiaComesAlive.com. Subscribe to the Live For Live Music YouTube channel for more Georgia Comes Alive videos.
Peter Yarrow w/ Parkland Project, S.O.N.G. – Full Segment – Georgia Comes Alive
Peter Yarrow joined 50+ other performers and speakers as part of Georgia Comes Alive, presented by Live For Live Music in partnership with voter registration nonprofit HeadCount. The marathon streaming event, powered by Nugs.TV and Plus 1, generated more than $160,000 in funds for organizations like CivicGeorgia and Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda that are putting in work on the ground to get Georgians out to the polls. For more information, head here. For more information on Georgia Comes Alive, or to donate to CivicGeorgia and Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, visit GeorgiaComesAlive.com.
— Live For Live Music (@L4LM) December 26, 2020