When I heard about the death of Pete Seeger I knew I’d have to dedicate a week to him. He was a massively important figure in music and important in a way you don’t see very often. As a musical middleman.
None of the Seeger pieces I’m featuring are entirely his own work (even Turn, Turn, Turn takes its lyrics from Ecclesiastes). And Seeger’s versions of these songs aren’t the best known (or necessarily the best versions). But he had an amazing knack for taking songs from across the globe that had been overlooked and presenting them in such a compelling and accessible way that they were begging for others to take the song and run with it.
He was also unusual in how strongly he knitted music and politics together. And he did it so effectively he was dragged before the House Un-American Activities Committee to answer for such Un-American activities as singing at the “May Day Rally: For Peace, Security and Democracy.” How many musicians today could you imagine being called before government for their political opinions?
Pete Seeger Chords
Coming up: tab for an instrumental version of We Shall Overcome.