The Song: Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season)

Commentary by Pete Seeger and performances by The Byrds, Pete Seeger, and Judy Collins

In the late 1950s, Pete Seeger wrote Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season), a song whose lyrics came from the third chapter of Ecclesiastes in the King James Version (1611) of the Bible. The Byrds, an American folk rock band, immortalized the song in 1965. In the context of the politically turbulent 1960s in America, Seeger’s lyrics implied that time might be at hand for change and social justice. Although the title of the song is not found in Scripture, it suggests the passage of time and the medieval rota fortunae or wheel of fortune, an emblem of the recurring nature of life’s blessings and losses. The title for the exhibition Turn Turn Turn was taken from Seeger's song.

The Byrds

The Byrds perform Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season) Live in the Big TNT Show, 1965.

Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger and judy collins