Singer, songwriter, musician and political activist Pete Seeger has died at the age of 94. He was a big believer in using song for social change.
His songs have been soft spoken but powerful. “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” on the Vietnam war. “Turn, Turn, Turn” popularized by the Byrds. And possibly the most powerful was the anthem of the civil rights movement, “We Shall Overcome.”
You may recall he sang “This Land is Your Land” written by his buddy Woody Guthrie at President Obama’s first inaugural.
My favorite Pete Seeger tune wasn’t political. It was an instrumental:
In the early 1970’s it was popularized by Leo Kottke’s version on his landmark album “6 and 12 String Guitar.” After many failed attempts to learn it, and seeing that my folk hero wrote it, I wrote to Seeger asking for some help. He wrote back. A lovely letter thanking me for appreciating the tune and detailing how I to play it.
Everybody has a favorite Pete Seeger song. What’s yours?