AN ADAGE A DAY◽ HOME
It’s fall, y’all!
It’s the time of year of autumn skies and pumpkin pies. Leaves are turning, football has begun, and we are all anticipating the holiday season which is upon us. What is your favorite time of year? I’m a summer loving girl but I do enjoy the changing of the seasons. After all, who doesn’t enjoy autumn time in Texas?
One of my favorite all-time songs I often heard as a child tells all about the seasons. Well, sort of. It tells about everything having a reason, a purpose, or a season and includes the popular adage, “To everything there is a season,” as well as examples to explain it. This song was written in the 1950’s by Pete Seeger and titled Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season). It’s been recorded by several groups, and first released by the Limeliters, a folk group, in 1962 and then by the Byrds, an American folk rock group, in 1965, which is the group I first heard it from. It became an international success. Have you heard it? I love singing it, even if I don’t know all the words. But I do know the main words, “To everything, Turn, Turn, Turn, there is a season, Turn, Turn, Turn,” and the song goes on.
This phrase did not start as an adage, idiom, or proverb, and I find it very interesting that we hear it in so many different places. It is not just the main theme to a well-known song, it has become a way to think about life, a comfort we can have when something (when anything) changes because that’s what IS going to happen.
You know, when it seems like something’s not going to work, you think, “to everything there is a season.” And when everything’s going great and you know it’s got to change, you think, “to everything there is a season.” We don’t have to “turn over a new leaf” and we don’t have to go “out on a limb.” In other words, it’s all okay, because to everything there is a season.
I asked if you’ve heard this song. Even if you haven’t, you’ve probably heard the words. They are also found in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and that’s where Pete Seeger found them. He said in an interview,
“A beautiful melody will help tie this world together, and sometimes, extraordinary words will. I didn’t realize when I improvised a melody to a short poem in the Old Testament that these few words would be some of the most important words I would ever latch on to.”
What I love about this is that Pete Seeger didn’t set out to write a Christian song, he set out to write a song that would bring beauty and togetherness to the world. This song did just that! And the words for this song just happened to come from verses in the Bible.
These are the words in Ecclesiastes 3 that Pete Seeger wrote from:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
The song goes on to say there is “a time to every purpose under heaven.” I have been through most of these times and know it’s quite comforting that each had a purpose. Isn’t it interesting that several quotes from God’s word have made it into the world of adages? And another quote from Ecclesiastes has also become an everyday proverb. It helps us know that for all these changing seasons, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
Happy fall, y’all!