Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season) (3:54)

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“Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There is a Season)”, often abbreviated to “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, is a song adapted entirely from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible (with the exception of the last line) and set to music by Pete Seeger in 1959. Seeger waited until 1962 to record it, releasing the song on his album “The Bitter and The Sweet” on Columbia Records.

The lyrics are taken almost verbatim from the King James version of the Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:1. The Biblical text states there is a time and place for all things: laughter and sorrow, healing and killing, war and peace, and so on. The lines are open to many interpretations, but as a song they are commonly performed as a plea for world peace, with stress on the closing line: “a time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.” The latter phrase and the title phrase “Turn! Turn! Turn!” are the only parts of the lyric written by Seeger himself.

The Byrds have the most successful recorded version of the song as the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit single , released in October 1965 (b/w “She Don’t Care About Time” Columbia 43424). In December, it became the title song to the group’s second studio album “Turn! Turn! Turn!”. Nearly three decades after the Byrds released the song as a single, the recording was featured prominently in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump. The song was also featured in Jim Sheridan’s 2002 film, In America, although it was not included on the official soundtrack.

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