Friday, May 03, 2019

The Weaver's Answer: Pete Seeger 100

We're back for a Thursday tribute to a pillar of song, the sincerity and dedication of which the world won't likely see again.
He'd have been the full one hundred today, and he almost made it alive too, having passed just a few years ago after a lifetime that can only be described as the pinnacle of fullness.
He seems like a quaint curiosity now, but the truth is he was one of the last True Believers.
More than anything, I think he believed that there was and is no greater weapon against oppression than music.
To say that he dedicated his 94 years on Earth to that proposition transmuted into effective, community-building action doesn't even begin to cover the spectrum and scope of his achievement.
It's no hyperbole to say that if there were ten such as he today, this world would not be as close to the cliff as it is right now.
He tried. He maybe tried harder and for longer than anyone who ever carried a guitar or banjo, to connect people with the reality Capitalism and the Commodity System work constantly to evaporate.
I mean, he never stopped from the 1940s to his 2014 exit. Never once. True believers like this are rare as the justice he sought these days, aren't they? 
And he was born this very day in 1919, making Pete Seeger -- perhaps the most committed musician of the 20th century -- a centenarian as of today.
How to celebrate such a big day for such a big figure? Let's try this lovely and highly exemplary hour from way back in the 1950s, when he was still a part of The Weavers but also playing solo, as he is in this wonderful rebroadcast of a concert from Northwestern University.
Pete Seeger
Cahn Auditorium
Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois

01 Buffalo Skinners
02 There Was an Old Woman from Yorkshire/Come All You Missouri Girls
03 Deep Blue Sea
04 Michael Row the Boat Ashore
05 Good God Amighty/Go Down Old Hannah/Didn't Old John Cross the Water?
06 Oleanna
07 The Devil's Nine Questions/Potatoes On Sunday
08 Tzena, Tzena, Tzena
09 various traditional melodies played on the bamboo flute
10 Oh Sally My Dear
11 Kisses Sweeter Than Wine
12 Goofin' Off Sweet
13 Brandy Leave Me Alone
14 Wimoweh

Total Time: 59:13

Pete Seeger - guitar, banjo, bamboo flute & vocals

a direct-to-HD-digital FM capture
I left all the track markers in this one as they were, because Pete's deal was just as much about the verbal explanations and asides as it was about the actual songs.
I shall return beginning next week with a whole laundry list of Maypole Dancing Suggestions as we haste away into May here.
Today, though, is the day to remember and give thanks for this extraordinary troubadour of Humanity... a man whom, if I ever had children and they asked me who to emulate, I'd answer "Pete Seeger".--J.
5.3.1919 - 1.27.2014

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