Thursday, January 30, 2014

Pete Seeger

Two memories:

As kids, our favorite record (before we discovered the Beatles) was Pete Seeger's Children's Concert at Town Hall.  Here's the Cheshire.  Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal. Put your Finger in the Air.  It Could Be A Wonderful World. We had no idea, of course, that the reason Pete Seeger was doing all of these children's concerts was that he was blacklisted because of his near-conviction by the House Un-American Activities Committee.  We just loved singing along to those songs.  And for Sash and myself, This Land Is Your Land was the national anthem.  I think as a kid I sort of thought it was.

In college, I remember Pete Seeger singing at the Schubert Theater in New Haven.  As the concert was coming to an end, Pete asked for suggestions.  The overwhelming response was Abiyoyo.  He seemed a little puzzled.  But for that generation of students, that story song with the sound effects of the boy's ukelele, the father's saw and the "zup-zup" of his magic wand brought us back to childhoods in living rooms listening to Pete Seeger albums.

Here's Pete Seeger singing Abiyoyo:

And then there's the Lincoln Memorial Obama inauguration concert, ending with This Land Is Your Land:

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