Pete Seeger Roundup

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?

But if you still care about making your voice heard today is the EFF’s The Day We Fight Back campaign protesting against mass surveillance. Head to TheDayWeFightBack.org to join the campaign.

Pete Seeger Chords

The Tokens – The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Walk off the Earth – Little Boxes
The Weavers – Pay Me My Money Down
Pete Seeger – Turn, Turn Turn

Coming up: tab for an instrumental version of We Shall Overcome.

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2 Comments

  1. cardboardfrog February 11th, 2014 11:05 pm

    I’m really pleased you’re devoting a week to pete’s work he was an amazing man, his work as a social and enviromental activist was overshadowed only by his influential role in the folk revival which is continued by his sister to this day.
    Also the man was a total bad ass, not many people would stand up to authority like he did, That and the influence he had on the five string banjo will live for generations his book teaching you to play is excellent and he’s the reason i bought a long neck (also called a pete seeger banjo).
    A great man, thanks for putting together some arrangements woodshed i look forward to playing through them,

  2. Woodshed February 12th, 2014 9:15 am

    cbf: Thanks! Hope you enjoy playing them.

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