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The Young Art Student (in memory of Pete Seeger)

by Marnen E. Laibow-Koser

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When Pete Seeger died in 2014, I wrote this piece in his memory. The lyrics are a poem that I heard him read in a radio interview that was rebroadcast just after his death.

Pete did not credit the poet, and I have not been able to trace any author information for the poem.

Video of this performance is available at vimeo.com/115772849. Score is available at drive.google.com/file/d/0B-9S1Y1t4sLoUGQ2c3d6WHZiRzA/view?usp=sharing.


The young art student was painting
What he thought for sure would be his masterpiece.
Brush stroke after brush stroke, he said
“I’m sure it is going to win a prize in the school competition.”

Well, it didn’t win a prize.
It didn’t even get honorable mention.
In fact, he heard though the grapevine
That the judges had laughed at it.

The art student clenched his fists,
Gritted his teeth and vowed,
“Someday those people will pay for this.”
And thirty years later six million died.

—author unknown


released July 10, 2016
Marnen Laibow-Koser, voice, viola
Kirsten Lamb, bass

Recorded live in Williams Hall at New England Conservatory, Boston, Massachusetts, on 19 December 2014.


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Marnen E. Laibow-Koser Randolph, Massachusetts

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