Monday, October 6, 2014

A Pete Seeger Primer

When I hear the name Pete Seeger, my first thought is of his song “Where have all the flowers gone?”  My high school German class sang the song “auf Deutsch”, and those lyrics still reverberate through my memory, although in Marlene Dietrich’s smoky version rather than the off-key sophomoric rendition from Herr Lange’s classroom.  I like Seeger’s music, but I didn’t know much about him as a person, other than he was controversial.  Then I listened to Jeff Haynes’ The Storm King.  I checked it out because it received an award for distinguished audio book achievement in 2014.  I was so intrigued with The Storm King that I watched Pete Seeger: The Power of Song and read Pete Seeger: In His Own Words and The Pete Seeger Reader.  If I only had a banjo, I’d check out How to Play the 5-String Banjo: a Manual for Beginners!

The Storm King was my favorite.  Music and story and memoir are twined together just as in Seeger’s actual life.  Listening to The Storm King is like sitting around a campfire on a crisp autumn evening with friends talking about life in word and song; tasty like ooey-gooey s’mores.

Pete Seeger died on January 27, 2014 at the age of 94.  You don’t have to agree with his politics to love his songs.  Honor his memory and enrich your life by listening to some of his music.  The Storm King is a great place to start.

~ Michelle, Adult Services

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