Monday, May 31, 2010

Song from Ecclesiastes: "Turn Turn Turn" - The Byrds

Music slide video created to the song Turn, Turn, Turn by The Byrds. (Done by HatitMissionary on You Tube)

The lyrics of the song were taken from Ecclesiastes. "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1

The Book of Ecclesiastes (or, "The Preacher") is designated one of the Wisdom Books of the Bible. Although traditionally attributed to King Solomon, it was more likely written in the third century BCE by a Jewish scholar known as the "Qoheleth", meaning one who appears before an assembly ('kahal"). Some scholars have detected some of the influence of Greek rationality from the Classical Age in this work.

The Preacher recognizes that there is nothing new under the sun, that wisdom and riches and all other pleasures ultimately are useless, "a chasing after the wind".

"For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life?"

There is much existential angst in this book, making it perhaps the most modern to readers in the Hebrew Bible. The message must have rubbed some of the righteous the wrong way, but, as here it is in the midst of The Bible, serving as a counter-balance to some of the rosier sayings in Proverbs, which are not applicable in times of injustice and doubt.

In the end, the Preacher finds that there is a ray of hope in being alive and enjoying what pleasures and works a person is set to do in this world. Enjoy life as much and for as long as you can and remember your Creator. All deeds good and evil will be judged.

The American folk singer Pete Seeger highlighted the verses of the third chapter of the book in 1959, making it what was to become a popular anti-war ballad.
He only added six words to it and donated half of the proceeds from the royalties to charity.

It was The Byrds who has a Number One hit in America with it in October, 1965. It reached #22 on the charts in Britain that same year.


  1. Thank you doug. This song has been much played over the years which shows its popularity. Good to hear it again.

    Great pictures video pictures


  2. Glad you enjoyed this song Cassandra. It's been a favorite of mine for quite a while, and for millions of others of course.

    And I was glad to find a video montage to do it justice.

  3. Yes, sometimes one can find a good quaility recording and an awful video and visa versa. To find the two together, is great. Well done you!