Signup for a folk alley account

In honor of Pete Seeger's life and legacy, we have brought back our side stream of Seeger classics covered by artists like Tom Paxton, Bruce Cockburn, Janis Ian, Natalie Merchant, Greg Brown, and, of course, the iconic troubadour himself.

Recently Played:

:50 Last Night I Had the Strangest Drea
Pete Seeger
Waist Deep In the Big Muddy
CBS/Sony 2705

:47 Boll Weevil
Pete Seeger
American Favorite Ballads
Smith.folk 40132

:43 Young Woman Who Swallowed a Lie
Pete Seeger
Smithsonia 40027

:39 My Rainbow Race
Pete Seeger
Smithsonia 40024

:34 Industrial Park
The Mammals(Pete Seeger)
Humble A. 004

Pete Seeger
Photo by Diana Davies courtesy of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage
Leave a personal remembrance of Pete's music and how it has touched your life.

In June of 1987 when I was 23 I was while attending Young Friends Gathering (Quakers) in New England and we attended nearby environmental demo. I walked with an older gentleman with a guitar and middle age man in the protest. Only later I was told the man the guitar was a course, folk icon Pete Seeger and middle age man was 1960's radical Abbie Hobbman. Two of my icons from the 60's. RIP Pete Seeger

Posted by Andrew Fraser on March 01, 2014.
I was a volunteer usher at Wolf Trap from 1976-1986, the best job I never got paid for. The highlight of each summer's season was when Arlo Guthrie would come to play. And the best of those shows was, of course, when Pete was with him, about half of those years. I treasure the memories of those few evenings spent with Arlo and Pete. Rest in Peace Pete.

Posted by David Phillips on February 24, 2014.

Posted by Dennis Hedgepeth on February 22, 2014.
About two years ago, Pete followed me on one of the social media systems. Biggest thrill of my life. We never conversed, but I think it was me tuning my 12 string.

Posted by Scot Witt on February 10, 2014.
Pete Seeger taught the world to sing. He made the individual that he/she had a voice worth hearing. I think it inspired every Bob Dylan and Tom Waits to sing despite their unusual vocal equipment. Today's world is dominated by American Idol and The Voice and the message is going out that we sound "pitchy" and, I believe it will have the effect of stifling the next generations freedom and creativity. We miss you, Pete, more than you or any of us know!

Posted by Douglas Abbott on February 04, 2014.
I feel like I've been to an Irish wake. Thank you very much!

Posted by Carroll Johnson on February 02, 2014.
In 1946 I had his "Abraham Lincoln Brigade" album and subscribed to his People's Songs magazine. A few of my fellow students at UT Austin invited him to come to Austin. We got the use of a church across the street from the campus. The turnout was so small we were ashamed but Pete seemed not to mind and sang his heart out. Pete was a lot younger then, but so were we!

Posted by Carroll Johnson on February 01, 2014.
Pete was a true gift to all of us. From young children to elderly people he was a most caring person. I am glad that my children grew up listening to him with me. A true American . Rest in Peace, Pete, and thanks for all the wonderful music .

Posted by Lloyd Heller,Jr on February 01, 2014.
Outstanding music for many years. Thank you Pete. Rest in peace.

Posted by John Bracco on February 01, 2014.
I met Pete Seeger when working as a swedish counselor at a nearby summer camp, called Camp Trywoodie summer 74. Since the directors of the camp knew Seeger,we participated among others at the Hudson River Sloop Festival with ceramics,soft drinks,etc, and Pete spoke and illustrated the lecture very vividly with slips of paper, describing among other things the different sums that was spent on different causes by the governement. I also remember that we campers were invited to take a ride on the Hudson River Sloop Clear Water, and I hope I did go to, but are not really sure, since it was some time ago.... I still have the Clear Water boat poster which I bought on my freezer after 40 years.... At the time I was not so aware of Petes standing and reputation, but remember his lecture,his tall posture and his warmth and friendliness... Mikke Vendel, Karlstad,Sweden

Posted by Mikael Vendel on January 31, 2014.
When you went somewhere Pete was singing, you never only got sung to, you got hooked right away singing WITH him and everyone else who was there with you. Whenever you worked for, with or around him, he always said how great it was to work alongside YOU. His way of seeing the world and being the world was and always will be infectious. [previously printed in New London Day newspaper.] Groton singer-songwriter Marco Frucht met Seeger more than once. He first encountered Seeger at a Providence memorial concert honoring Malvina Reynolds (whose song “Little Boxes” was famously covered by Seeger). He got to know Seeger better when both attended nonviolence training sessions years ago in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ga.

Posted by Marco Capelli on January 31, 2014.
A true patriot and wonderful human being has left us. RIP.

Posted by David Todd on January 31, 2014.
Thanks so much for sharing this very significant and marvelous musical tribute to one the most talented and greatest singer-songwriters of all time. His emotionally charged, poignant philosophical messages of peace and concern for humanity are timeless. An incredibly spirited, gifted and talented musician, Pete will be a part of all those he "touched" throughout the world over all the years of his influential and prolific career. And for this '60's "folkie" and singer, he will live on in my memory, heart and spirit and through his songs which will always be a part of me.

Posted by Jeanne Berman on January 31, 2014.
Pete's positive, peaceful, forceful philosophy shaped my mother's life and philosophy directly. She in turn taught it to all six of her children. We have been fans of his music and have been inspired by his convictions. We have all become involved in building local community and capacity, some around food, some around the power of music. In my family, Pete helped form a generation of connected, committed citizens and for this I am eternally grateful. I will miss his physical presence but I am no less inspired by his life's work. RIP dear soul.

Posted by Sara Pittman on January 31, 2014.
Thanks to Folk Alley for helping us remember Pete. Like so many others here, I first learned Pete's music--and the music he helped recover and uncover--as a kid in the 60's...from the nuns in elementary school, no less! I was motivated to pick up the guitar to learn Harry Chapin songs--and Pete was Harry's idol. Been playing them ever since. But to package Pete as a folk musician is too limiting--every American musician owes him a debt: protest music (what rock and roll used to be), roots music, world music, kids music were all influence by Pete. What to do when the music industry changes (he was an independent artist before that was the standard). How to teach music--from playing the banjo and guitar to getting an audience to sing along. And, finally, the role that music can play in pulling us together to create positive change in the world. Rest peacefully, Pete. Let's keep on singing.

Posted by Mike Smith on January 30, 2014.
You all are a gift. Pete was and is a gift. I've been singing and playing his songs since 1961, and it's not long enough. I'll keep singing and playing; you keep on keeping on.

Posted by Jb Weber on January 30, 2014.
I am so happy to have met Pete Seeger. He came and introduced himself to me at one of the North American Folk Alliance Conferences. He shared with me his knowledge of how African American was the start of American Folk Music. He inspired me to continue to be a part of this culture. I know if I had seen him again he probably would not have known me. However, I will always remember how he took the time out to come sit and talk with me about the history of folk music. Knowing his legacy, he was a man that respected all people and let it be known through his songs and actions.

Posted by Veronika Jackson on January 30, 2014.
Lorsque nous étions gamins, nous avons chanté les chansons de Pete SEEGER que nous avions apprises avec les « disques Folkways » et « Chant du monde » . Il était proche de nous… C’était un homme si digne, et le folk est en deuil. Nous aussi. Merci pour tout Pete. Philippe LABBÉ, France (66 y.o.) When we were kids, we have sung Pete SEEGER songs that we learnt with “Folkways records” and “Chants du Monde” records. We felt ourselves so close to him… He was a so worthy man, and Folk is in mourning. Ouselves too. Thank’s for all Pete. Philippe LABBÉ, France (66 y.o.)

Posted by Philippe LABBE on January 30, 2014.
He was a great man - Among many of his great teachings was the firm belief that "you got to change the words of these songs so they fit your times and struggles...." A lesson certainly in some small part from Woody who famously said, "Song stealer? They call me a song stealer! Why, I'm the biggest song stealer there ever was!"... This was a great man and a great example of how to live in this world such as it is... How we find it and how we make it as grains of sand...And that's one way he'll live on with us.

Posted by B Stites on January 30, 2014.
If anyone could be described as making the "music of our lives" that man is Pete Seeger. Thanks for providing this tribute Folk Alley. Rest in Peace, Pete.

Posted by Julia Landry on January 30, 2014.
A tribute in song to Pete Seeger, an American treasure and citizen of the world May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014 A Voice Among Our People There’s a voice among our people. Many hearts rise to his call, Weaving golden threads of music Into harmonies for all. Weaving golden threads of music Into harmonies for all. There’s a leader in our chorus With a voice so soft and sure. He has taught our sons and daughters Our traditions proud and pure. He has taught our sons and daughters Our traditions proud and pure. There’s a singer of our spirit Hate surrenders to his ring. Down the rivers, ‘cross the oceans, We together sail and sing. Down the rivers, ‘cross the oceans, We together sail and sing. All his brothers and his sisters Make his music rise and swell. We who sing and add new verses Are his hammer and his bell. We who sing and add new verses Are his hammer and his bell. There’s a voice within our people, Forever will it sing. When we raise our rainbow chorus, We can hear our freedom ring. When we raise our rainbow chorus, We can hear our freedom ring. New words, William Phillips © 2009 WR Phillips Crafted after, “River of My People,” words by Pete Seeger, (c)1953 by Stormking Music Inc. Music: Traditional Russian tune ("Stenka Razin")

Posted by Bill Phillips on January 30, 2014.
A tribute in song to Pete Seeger, an American treasure and citizen of the world May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014 A Voice Among Our People There’s a voice among our people. Many hearts rise to his call, Weaving golden threads of music Into harmonies for all. Weaving golden threads of music Into harmonies for all. There’s a leader in our chorus With a voice so soft and sure. He has taught our sons and daughters Our traditions proud and pure. He has taught our sons and daughters Our traditions proud and pure. There’s a singer of our spirit Hate surrenders to his ring. Down the rivers, ‘cross the oceans, We together sail and sing. Down the rivers, ‘cross the oceans, We together sail and sing. All his brothers and his sisters Make his music rise and swell. We who sing and add new verses Are his hammer and his bell. We who sing and add new verses Are his hammer and his bell. There’s a voice within our people, Forever will it sing. When we raise our rainbow chorus, We can hear our freedom ring. When we raise our rainbow chorus, We can hear our freedom ring. New words, William Phillips © 2009 WR Phillips Crafted after, “River of My People,” words by Pete Seeger, (c)1953 by Stormking Music Inc. Music: Traditional Russian tune ("Stenka Razin")

Posted by Bill Phillips on January 30, 2014.
I'm one of the many people who grew up with Pete Seeger's music. My mother came from a New York labor union family, and had memories of seeing him, Woody Guthrie, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Josh White at hoots and other events. My father, a wonderful singer, came to him later. When I was 2 (I'm told), they bought me a little record player and a set of children's 78's, which included songs by the Weavers, among others. (I can't remember the name of the series — just that the discs had green labels.) With the advent of LP's came "The Weavers at Carnegie Hall," which we almost wore out, and a few years later, "We Shall Overcome," Pete's historic live Carnegie Hall recording. I doubt that I’d have become a folk singer myself, were it not for Pete pointing the way. In 1998, I wrote a song called "The Great Fast Food Strike," about an event which had just taken place about 20 miles from my home in Cleveland. Since I'd used a traditional tune, I emailed the words to some friends I thought might like it, and after considerable hesitation, stuck a copy in an envelope and snail-mailed it to Pete. The only reason I had the temerity to do that was that I had met him and been around him at several gatherings of the People's Music Network. I didn't expect him to remember me, but felt that made us more than absolute strangers. About 3 weeks later, my phone rang at the ungodly hour of 7 a.m., and a friend began reading to me from the New York Times. The piece was a review of a recent concert marking the 50th anniversary of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings at that storied place, Carnegie Hall. Pete's set had included "a song about a fast food strike in Ohio." Pete had attributed the song to "a woman from Ohio." A friend of mine who was at the concert said later, "I knew it was you," to which I replied, "Right — like I'm the only woman in Ohio!" I called Folkways, identified myself as the writer of the lyrics, and found out that the concert had been recorded — not for commercial release, but for archival purposes. Over the past couple of days I've thought almost constantly about Pete and the significance of his life and work. I feel both humble and proud that, in the vastness of his musical accomplishments, I had one tiny little part, which lives in the archives at the Smithsonian.

Posted by Deborah Van Kleef on January 30, 2014.
I remember, when I was around 10 years old, listening to the Danish radio, a popular music programme called "Ten Tunes We Like", suddenly "If I had a hammer" sounded over the loudspeakers. It was Pete Seeger, and it was completely different from the rest of the programme with firm positions and acoustic instruments. After that I completely lost my heart to folk music and the new world it opened! Thank You, Pete! I know You´ll stick around and keep on inspiring us with your songs and books!

Posted by Allan E. Petersen on January 29, 2014.
I grew up in the 60's listening to the great folk music of Pete Seeger and the great folk groups that made his music even more popular for my generation. I introduced his music to my 32 year old son at an early age, playing the Best of Pete Seeger in my car on a now worn out cassette. His music has always been our own special bond. My son took me to see Pete Seeger at Carnegie Hall in 2012, a concert I will always remember, not only because I got to see Pete Seeger and got to meet Fred Hellerman during the intermission; but because I was able to share these moments with my son. I will miss Pete; his legacy and music was passed on to two more generations that loved his music and what it meant to our generations.

Posted by Hyman Riebman on January 29, 2014.
I'm old enough to remember hearing Weavers songs like "Goodnight, Irene" on the radio when I was 4. Seeger has always been there. A great folkie; a voice which was living proof that anybody can sing, and sing well; an incurable optimist ... lovely man, and the world will miss him dreadfully.

Posted by B. Ross Ashley on January 29, 2014.
Words fail me, and I cry. I am grateful that while I was alive, Pete Seeger was here too, singing truth with his music, refusing to compromise his vision of a better world. I feel like I have lost a member of my immediate family because for Pete Seeger we were all members of his. During the struggle to end the war in the 1960s and during the struggle for civil rights, how wonderful that he was there to encourage us with his wonderful music and spirit.

Posted by Susan on January 29, 2014.
I grew up loving the music of Pete Seeger and respecting the man. By coincidence, the day he passed away I just happened to be reading the chapter featuring Pete in Joe Klein's 1980 biography of Woody Guthrie. My dad wasn't a music fan. He went to Abbie Hoffman's funeral. Abbie was from my neighborhood where I grew up in Worcester, MA. My dad felt sorry for his family for the abuse they took during the Viet Nam War because of Abbie. My dad ended up walking with Pete Seeger in the funeral procession. It's one of my favorite stories about my own dad, which I told at his funeral.

Posted by Mark Price on January 29, 2014.
My heartfelt condolences to all of Pete's family and friends, but especially to Arlo, probably the second finest man I have ever met, who has lost so much this year. Carry it on, Carry it on. jbc

Posted by Joseph Caulfield on January 29, 2014.
I grew up learning the banjo listening to Pete Seeger. He had a unique quality of being able through his music to reach people regardless of politics and appeal to them to help others in need. I never thought of him as a liberal but simply someone above the petty arguments asking me to be a better man and to do the right thing wondering how long it would take me to get there and how many lives would suffer before I finally did something. I will miss his talent, his kindness and his unfailing life of bringing a much needed message.

Posted by John Church on January 29, 2014.
We deeply mourn the passing of Pete Seeger. We believe that nobody is truly gone until all those who are touched or influenced by that person are gone from the Earth.. So Pete will live on in the hearts and minds of so many for years to come. His vision of peace and justice and equality for all will live on and continue to influence. His music has been used all over the world for social justice. From the Civil Rights movement to the anti-war movements Pete and his songs have been there on the front lines. Like a ripple that keeps going out from a pond Pete's music will keep going out all over the world spreading the message of non-violence and peace and justice and equality for all. Wherever people are fighting to be free or fighting for equality Pete's songs and Pete's vision will be there with them. -- Jim Musselman President, Appleseed Recordings

Posted by Susan on January 29, 2014.
He inspired generations, quietly.

Posted by Harvey Smith on January 29, 2014.
I grew up listening to folk music played by my older brother and his guitar. I sang songs around the campfire that Pete Seeger wrote and/or sang, as well as the songs of many other great performers. It's so amazing how a man can influence others even though most of us never had a chance to meet him. Rest in peace, you did good Pete.

Posted by John Hewes on January 29, 2014.
I was with Pete and eight other family members and friends when Pete took his last breath in his 94 year old body. About an hour later talk was made about Toshi's memorial, as I listened. In the morning I awoke and put this on my FB status: People are asking about a Memorial for Pete. A memorial? A Memorial happens every time two or more gather to share and create music. A Memorial happens every time a father or mother walks a picket line fighting for justice and a better life for their children. A Memorial honors Pete every time a child looks at a fish tank full of life pulled from the Hudson River and marvels at the diversity of life on this planet. A Memorial happens every time you treat someone with kindness and respect. When people would say to Pete, "I wish there were more people like you," he'd reply, "There are, and most are younger than me."

Posted by Thom Wolke on January 29, 2014.
I was lucky to see many Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie shows in the late 70's, early 80's, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and other places around New England. It was one of the best parts of my college education. Thank you Folk Alley for the Pete Seeger tribute stream, but there is one problem. A real Pete Seeger tribute stream would not only be the best stream, it would keep growing and improving over time. It would keep going day and night, every day, not resting, for the better part of a century.

Posted by Bill H. on January 29, 2014.
Pete Seeger was a symbol of the best "humanitarian values of our society". His music and his activism were society changers. Thank you Peter for your lessons.

Posted by Ezra Zubrow on January 29, 2014.
I remember listening to Pete's records in my bedroom at the age of about 8. From the very beginning I knew I was hearing something profoundly meaningful, and I could feel his intense personal power in connecting with the audience, and in encouraging the audience to connect with each other, too. This was definitely something that could change the world. These early exposures led me to the work I have spent most of my life doing, with musicians who played with Pete, and with Pete himself.

Posted by Maria Wood on January 29, 2014.
I have only heard recordings of Pete's music, never saw him perform. But what a genuine influence he was and will continue to be. I liked what someone said the other day, that we should not lament that Pete Seeger has died, but celebrate that he had lived.

Posted by Bill McIver on January 29, 2014.
I saved up my money to buy my first LP. It was about 1956, I was 12, and the album was Pete Seeger's "American Folk songs for Children." I've still got it, a bit worse for much-repeated wear. At the 1963 Newport Folk Festival, I was walking between venues to see some documentary clips of Woody Guthrie. Who should be walking next to me but Pete? I was a 17 year old kid, and he was already THE GREAT ONE. Yet he talked to me in the most easy-going manner. Great music, courage, politics!

Posted by Daniel Albert on January 29, 2014.
Two hundred years would not have been enough time for his lessons and good will to sink into a nation. Winter just got a little colder. Fare thee well.

Posted by Hank White on January 29, 2014.
My parents introduced me to the Weavers in the 1950's, and Pete's music and dedication have been an inspiration to me for all the years since then. I am so sad to see him go, but his dedication to peace and economic fairness will resonate for a long time. He will be sorely missed.

Posted by Robert Bergman on January 29, 2014.
I first heard Pete in 1949 at Antioch College where he was a frequent visitor in the next few years. We'd sit on the gym floor, Pete would sing and then get us to sing along. A new experience for me. He encouraged us to make up verses to songs. What a blast. What a privilege to have had this man in my life. At 83 he has been a symbol for me of what a man can be and do by holding true to his beliefs and principles.

Posted by James Barter on January 29, 2014.
I first meet Pete when my father took me to a concert at my High School (Freeport, NY). Pete shook my hand and I bought an autographed Clearwater album from him. He is one of my heroes and will be greatly missed. I beame a folkie and will be doing my best to insure his songs live on.

Posted by Melvin Davidson on January 29, 2014.
Thanks Pete! Here in cold Nordic country Finland we remember You with warm hearts. You have give us your music and we taking it further in same spirit as You.

Posted by Vesa from Finland on January 29, 2014.
I had the pleasure...the joy...of attending the Clearwater Festival a few years ago and was sitting on the grass as Pete walked by, I wanted to get his attention and say "Hi", but in the end I caught a glimpse of those eyes - full of steely determination - and that was more than enough. Thank you Pete for blessing my life - all my life. Peace.

Posted by Pamela Myers on January 28, 2014.
I'm 63 years old and have been listening to Pete all my life. Today I feel like I lost a dear friend. I have been lucky enough to have been in the audience for Pete's concerts many times. In 1980 the Folk Society of New England sponsored a concert on the Harvard campus. It was recorded to document Pete's ability to unite an audience in song. It is a fabulous double album. I wrote Pete and told him that we made an album together. I told him how important he was in my life and the lives of so many around the world. About 6 months later I received a postcard that simply said, "Thanks Steve", Pete. It is one of my cherished possessions. Thanks Pete for everything you have done for humankind

Posted by Steven Parker on January 28, 2014.
I grew up in the folk song era of the 60's. I learned to appreciate the music of Pete Seeger and his wonderful banjo. My first book when I decided to learn to play banjo was his "How To Play The 5-String Banjo". If there is a heaven Pete is going to get everyone there to sing until we can hear it in this world! Long live the spirit of Pete Seeger!

Posted by Steve Anderson on January 28, 2014.
Pete Seeger has died at age 94. Along with writing songs that have become iconic and at the soul of the American folk music movement, Pete was a life-long activist and withstood being blacklisted to hold his place as a bonafide legend.

Posted by Folk Alley on January 28, 2014.

You must be signed in to leave a comment!

Forgot your password?
Don't have an account? Sign up for free!