Before the Nazis invaded Russia, a small mixed chorus called the Almanac Singers was using its talents to criticize conscription — already enacted by Congress. One of its songs had as its theme the vicious isolationist catchphrase, “Plow under every fourth American boy.” Another referred to the Selective Service Act as “that goddamned bill.” Last Saturday at the premiere of the government’s morale broadcast, “This Is War”, the Almanac Singers, now all-out for democracy and conscription, sang a number called “Round and Round Hitler’s Grave. – New York Post February 17, 1942.
In 1940, Millard Lampell, Lee Hays, Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger formed an anti-war, anti-racism and pro-union singing group known as the Almanac Singers. As members of an American Popular Front (composed of liberals, leftists and Communists) they put aside their pacifist sentiments to join the fight against fascism.
Pete Seeger died on January 27, 2014.