Beacon artist Decora Sandiford’s fingerprints are all over Newburgh – from giant outdoor murals like those on South Street and on Colden Street to the window paintings that adorn vacant houses on Lander Street and a community garden at Chambers and First streets.
On Feb. 17 WAMC broadcast a segment by Allison Dunne on the hip-hop artist’s song “Flowers.” It is a tribute to the late Pete Seeger’s iconic “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” and one of the songs on Sandiford’s upcoming album.
“Before Pete passed I told him I was going to do that song,” said Sandiford, who used to live on Chambers Street. “Shortly after him passing, I started writing it.”
Seeger died just over a year ago at the age of 94. Sandiford met the legendary folk singer when his group ReadNex Poetry Squad performed at Beacon Riverfest in 2011. Sandiford went on to work with Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, and considered Seeger a mentor.
The video for the song opens and closes with Seeger singing.
“When you say where have the flowers gone, it can mean a lot,” Sandiford said. “It can mean hope; it can mean justice; it could mean the love for humanity. … I always got tingles down my spine every time the chorus would come on.”