Pete Seeger R.I.P.

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Pete Seeger R.I.P.

Post by Tony » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:03 pm

Sad to hear of Pete Seeger's death today. One of the real greats.
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Jonnie Falafel
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Re: Pete Seeger R.I.P.

Post by Jonnie Falafel » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:43 pm

Let's raise a glass to a long life well lived. Sleep tight Pete Seeger.
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Re: Pete Seeger R.I.P.

Post by Eskimo » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:41 pm

a lesser known one of the many great songs he wrote:

Sailing Down My Golden RIver
John Etherington
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Re: Pete Seeger R.I.P.

Post by John Etherington » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:08 pm

Must include "Die Gedanken Sind Frei"!

and for good measure, Leonard's version:
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Re: Pete Seeger R.I.P.

Post by Steven » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:09 pm

This is a huge loss. Pete Seeger was a decent and caring man; he was a best friend to humanity
and the earth.
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Re: Pete Seeger R.I.P.

Post by Kush » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:46 am

RIP. He was a "decent and caring man" as well as a courageous person. My mother is also a fan of his music and she does not listen to very much 'western' music.

This was probably his last public performance September 2013
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Re: Pete Seeger R.I.P.

Post by Andrew (Darby) » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:36 pm

This is so sad indeed and feels like the end of an era... even though I guess it's not really that bleak.

Here's a link to a nice little cross reference concerning Pete and Leonard and the song 'Solidarity Forever' (about two third's of the way down this blogs page), courtesy of a tweet from HelenOE's thread, that she posted today:

'I cannot give the reasons
I only sing the tunes
The sadness of the seasons
The madness of the moons'
~ Mervyn Peake ~
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Re: Pete Seeger R.I.P.

Post by Squidgy » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:27 am

What a life well lived! He kept the faith, truly, and never became cynical or apathetic. Some rare individuals just have a light within them that shines so clear and lights the path. Seeger's passing has elicited much commentary re: his early communist leanings and refusal to answer to HUAC. And many conservative Americans have never forgiven him for those early years. What they don't understand comes down to history. In the 1920s and 30s American workers did not have the rights we now have and take for granted; they worked 20-hour days and lived in squalor, were beaten and gunned down by hired goons if they dared to ask for another morsel, while the Rockefellers and Astors guzzled champagne. Many American workers jumped on the Bolshevik bandwagon, lionizing the Russian "dictatorship of the proletariat" because they saw it as a way to organize and bargain collectively; it seemed an earthly manifestation of Christian abstractions, and many communists styled themselves as both Christian and Communist. Either they saw no contradiction between the two, or they just didn't get the memo, so to speak, which required all good commies to embrace atheism. ( The meek shall inherit the earth, ya know? I remember a funny song Mr. Seeger performed, which featured the refrain "No pie in the sky when we die/ we want pie now!" ) But Seeger was never really a "Marxist-Leninist" per se, because he never lost his humility or his faith in God, nor did he ever put much faith in governments or leaders. To his credit, he DID renounce communism/Stalinism when its horrific realities began to be known to Party members in the 1940s, long before these horrors were revealed to the world at large by Khrushchev in 1956.
Though I never had the privilege of shaking hands with the man, I was there--way back in the crowds-- at many marches and rallies where he marched and sang, during the era of civil rights /anti-nuclear/ Kent State/ Vietnam moratorium, etc. He exuded joy and love for humanity that was almost childish, and I mean that in a good way. A gentle soul, he rebuked the meanness in the world always gently, condemning injustice, but never engaging in meanspirited attacks or name calling. If only more people could be like that today.

I don't have any Pete Seeger records, per se, but I do have several compilations and anthologies where he is notably represented. Also many records by other artists (like Ramblin' Jack Elliot) performing his songs. One of my best "finds" (in perfect condition, not a scratch, purchased from a Goodwill thrift store for TWO DOLLARS!!) is a 4 record boxed set, with detailed booklet, called Folk Songs and Minstrelsy on the Vanguard/Folkways label. This set includes nearly a dozen cuts by the Weavers, with Seeger's vocals and banjo loud and clear, as well as one Pete Seeger number, and Seeger backing other artists on a couple other cuts. Other artists on this album include Odetta, Cisco Houston, and a 19-year-old Joan Baez.
Though I was there at 2006 New Orleans Jazzfest when Springsteen's extended orchestra (?) first performed "The Seeger Sessions," I didn't buy the CD when it was released. I listened to it in the store, and the studio version just sounded flat, didn't live up to the live performance.
More recently, I got a 4-CD set commemorating 50 Years of Bob Dylan and Amnesty International. Dylan's songs are covered quite creatively by a wide variety of artists as a benefit for Amnesty. With the exception one cut featuring some idiot named Ke$ha, who slobbers and snots her way through "Don't Think Twice" this too is a great collection worth having. The song that brings a big smile is offered by a 93-year-old Pete Seeger. What song did he choose? "Forever Young," of course.

Anyone wishing to purchase Seeger recordings can find a bunch on
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Re: Pete Seeger R.I.P.

Post by John Etherington » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:41 am

I hope there will be Pete Seeger tributes in the U.K. where musicians can carry on the great man's work by speaking-out against all the oppressive and dangerous policies being instigated here (bedroom tax, gagging bill, water cannons, ATOS, fracking etc). It's time that musicians used their voice to fight for freedom again, as Seeger did.
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Re: Pete Seeger R.I.P.

Post by B4real » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:43 am

He was an original! From a relevant article in The Australian, here are some fitting words about Pete Seeger from Bruce Springsteen. ... 6814727532

IT seems like only yesterday he was here, but next week sees the return of Bruce Springsteen to our shores, with a new album, High Hopes, that sits at the top of the Australian charts on its first week of release.
No doubt he will be changing the set list slightly from the ones that filled his Australian jaunt last year. Perhaps his cover of the Saints' Just Like Fire Would, which he performed in Brisbane last time before recording it in Sydney for High Hopes, will be a staple. One wonders if we might hear also a tribute to the folk legend who so inspired him and who became his friend, Pete Seeger, who died this week at the age of 94.

The Boss of course recorded a whole album, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (2006), as a salute to Seeger's work as well as a live concert DVD of the material, so one would think there is a good chance he and the E Street Band will revisit some of Seeger's catalogue for their tour, which begins in Perth next Wednesday.

Springsteen shared a stage with Seeger five years ago as part of the Barack Obama inauguration celebrations. It was a special moment for Springsteen, as he recalled so eloquently later the same year at a 90th birthday function held for Seeger in New York.

In that light SD thought it would be fitting to quote some of his moving speech on that occasion here: "As Pete and I travelled to Washington for President Obama's inaugural celebration, he told me the entire story of We Shall Overcome. How it moved from a labour movement song, and with Pete's inspiration, had been adapted by the civil rights movement. That day as we sang This Land Is Your Land, I looked at Pete, the first black president of the United States was seated to his right, and I thought of the incredible journey that Pete had taken. My own growing up in the 60s in towns scarred by race rioting made that moment nearly unbelievable, and Pete had 30 extra years of struggle and real activism on his belt. He was so happy that day. It was like, 'Pete, you outlasted the bastards, man!' "

Springsteen went on, asking Seeger about the song they were about to perform: "And I asked him how do you want to approach [Woody Guthrie's] This Land Is Your Land? It would be near the end of the show and all he said was, 'Well, I know I want to sing all the verses, I want to sing all the ones that Woody wrote. Especially the two that get left out: about private property and the relief office.'

"And I thought, of course, that's what Pete's done his whole life. He sings all the verses all the time, especially the ones that we'd like to leave out of our history as a people. At some point, Pete Seeger decided he'd be a walking, singing reminder of all of America's history. He'd be a living archive of America's music and conscience, a testament of the power of song and culture to nudge history along, to push American events towards more humane and justified ends.

"He would have the audacity and the courage to sing in the voice of the people, and despite Pete's somewhat benign, grandfatherly appearance, he is a creature of a stubborn, defiant and nasty optimism. Inside him he carries a steely toughness that belies that grandfatherly facade and it won't let him take a step back from the things he believes in. At 90, he remains a stealth dagger through the heart of our country's illusions about itself. Pete Seeger still sings all the verses all the time, and he reminds us of our immense failures as well as shining a light toward our better angels and the horizon where the country we've imagined and hold dear we hope awaits us."

Nice one, Bruce.
For those interested here is the live recorded session of:
Bruce Springsteen & The Seeger Sessions Band
BBC Sessions
LSO St. Lukes, London
May 9, 2006
It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to B4real ~ me
Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy ~ me ...... The magic of art is the truth of its lies ~ me ...... Only left-handers are in their right mind!
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