Turn, Turn, Turn (The Byrds)

4 JANUARY 1966


The Byrd’s ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’ was still in the UK Top 50. It had peaked at #26 there, and had been #1 on the US Billboard charts.

This song was written by the great Pete Seeger in the late 1950s. The lyrics, except for the title, and the final verse of the song, are adapted word-for-word from Chapter 3 of the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament. It holds a record as being the US #1 hit with the oldest lyrics, theoretically being authored by King Solomon himself.

The ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’ album was their second album after ‘Mr Tambourine Man’ and their last 'straight' folk-rock album in that style. After this time the band personnel changed with vocalist and chief songwriter Gene Clark leaving, and the band exploring new sounds, most notably psychedelia and country-rock. They did turn out some excellent songs later, but 1965-'66 was their commercial peak and the time when they made some of the most gorgeous folk-rock jangle music of the 1960s. And they looked great, too.

Released: October 1, 1965
Highest chart position: #26 (UK), #1 (US)
Recorded: September 1, 10, 14–16, 1965, Columbia Studios, Hollywood, California
Length: 3:49
Label: Columbia
Writer: Pete Seeger (words from the Book of Ecclesiastes)
Producer: Terry Melcher

Turn, Turn, Turn (The Byrds)

'To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late!'