Pete Seeger is 90

Was it fake memory syndrome, or wasn’t it? At the time (mid 1990s), I wasn’t sure. Had I actually seen Pete Seeger live at the Royal Albert Hall? It felt like I had, but was it really possible that I had seen this fantastic legendary singer? Yes, it was. I found the ticket and the programme and the poster in a cupboard soon after. Looking back now, I sort of recall that Pete Seeger appeared with Quilapayún from Chile, some time at the end of the 1970s.

Pete Seeger

At the time I never stopped to consider that one day it might feel even more special, because in those days I believed that we would all live forever. Thanks to my younger self for having gone to that concert.

And isn’t it amazing that this wonderful protest singer is still with us, and still singing at the age of ninety? When I despair and wonder what the world is coming to, it’s a relief to know that some people haven’t given up.

I’m including the video of Pete singing at Obama’s inauguration. The picture quality isn’t so good, but what a fantastic day it must have been.

And then there’s Tom Paxton’s What did you learn in school today? Still as valid as ever, after all these years.

Happy 90th Birthday, Pete Seeger!

9 responses to “Pete Seeger is 90

  1. In my youth I used to buy LPs when visiting England, as they were not only cheaper, but generally more to choose from, too. One exception was Pete Seeger, where I couldn’t find a single one. I deduced, rashly perhaps, that maybe the man was banned in the UK. I don’t think he was. It’s just a sign of how differently we look at people.

    Through a tip from another blogger, I see that the Swedish press is full of Pete Seeger today, to celebrate his birthday. Some of them have even chosen the same YouTube clips that I’ve got above. Great (Swedish) minds think alike…

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  3. There are several wonderful clips on Youtube of Pete Seeger meeting up with folk singers, male and female, white and black, in the sixties or maybe seventies. Often in their kitchens, in derelict homes. Look them up! Among them Freight train – written by a woman.

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  6. My mother took my sister and I to the same benefit concert for Chile in September 1976, to mark the third anniversary of the bloody fascist coup of Pinochet with the help of Nixon’s and Kissenger’s CIA.

    Singing along with Seeger and Quiapayun that night -were Isobel and Angel Para, children of Violeta.It was a concert that changed my life and I have never forgotten it.

    The loss of Pete Seeger yesterday, at the age of 94, was yet another loss for the left, but he leaves his mark with his wonderful songs whose lyrics are as relevant today as when they were first written decades ago.

  7. Thanks for reminding me. I saw Quilapayún and the Parras and others so many times in various concerts, that the occasions now blend into each other. But Pete Seeger only that once.

    I remember the end of summer 1976. Very warm and very brown and dry everywhere.

  8. You say in your original message that you have a programme for that concert back in ’76. Would it be possible to scan it and email it to me? we didn’t get a programme on that night but I would love to see who else was performing. I’ve got vague recollections that Pete Seeger sand with his sister Peggy. Am I right?

  9. Unfortunately I will have got rid of it soon after. I was clearing things out, and was primarily pleased to see I’d not been hallucinating the whole thing…
    I’m fairly sure Peggy was not part of it.

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