In 1962, when I was a sophomore in high school, I remember the song ‘If I Had a Hammer’ by Peter, Paul, and Mary. I really liked the song then and continue to like it today. It was sung with great harmony by this group and it played on radio quite a bit. Even though I listened to the song I never thought much about why the song was written or even the lyrics that it contained.
It was originally written in 1949 by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays. Originally known as ‘The Hammer Song’, it was written in support of the progressive movement concerning labor in the workplace and focusing on action toward equality. It was first recorded by The Weavers, a folk music quartet.
With all the unrest and misguided information that is in our world today, this song would fit perfectly if we would all take the time and listen to the words. It was used as a freedom song during the civil rights movement in the early sixties when there was a lot of anxiety among the people of this nation. Just as today there were riots and uprisings by protestors; however, I do not remember them being as destructive or mean as they are today. The sixties created a lot of chaos and it took years for the turmoil to settle down and once again become normal.
It was also a time when we were taking God out of our schools and many of our young people became products of anything but church-related congregations and functions. Our country has gone away from God and unless we turn back to Him for leadership and guidance, we will one day cease to be a United States. As President Ronald Reagan once said, “If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” Look around; if America does not change her ways and attitudes this will become true.
In the song ‘If I Had a Hammer’ it speaks about having a hammer, a bell, and a song. The last verse reads as this:
“Well, I’ve got a hammer, and I’ve got a bell,
And I’ve got a song to sing, all over this land.
It’s the hammer of justice, it’s the bell of freedom,
It’s a song about love between my brothers and my sisters, all over this land.
It’s a hammer of justice, it’s a bell of freedom,
It’s a song about love between my brothers and my sisters, all over this land.’
We are told about riots in the Bible, and just as they are today, they were fueled by race, religion, jealousy, and deception. Some are misunderstandings and some are political. Some are hate filled created by instigators.
It is time for Christians to stand up and say enough is enough. We need to pull together and go forth with the armor of God. Should you not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, go to your knees today and ask Him into your heart. Ask Him to guide you in a way to bring about peace. Ask Him for the hammer of justice, the bell of freedom, and let us all sing about love that we should have between our brothers and sisters.