Folk singer wrote hit song with Bible lyrics

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) — American troubadour Pete Seeger, who died Monday at the age of 94, is credited with writing one of the few hit songs whose lyrics were taken almost entirely from the Bible.

Paul Zollo (ZOH'-loh), who interviewed Seeger for his book "Songwriters on Songwriting," says the song "Turn, Turn, Turn" was written after Seeger's music publisher complained that he wanted Seeger to write something more popular than protest songs.

Zollo says Seeger had previously jotted the passage from the Bible's Book of Ecclesiastes on a slip of paper. Seeger said he rearranged a few words to rhyme and wrote the melody in 15 minutes. To Seeger's surprise, the publisher loved it and the 1960s band "The Byrds" made it a hit.

Zollo says Seeger told him he considered the Bible a book of folklore, containing both wisdom and foolishness.

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