Pete Seeger – Traditional Christmas Carols (1967)

FrontCover1In 1967, Pete Seeger expanded upon the material he had recorded for the earlier seasonal collection The Nativity (Folkways FTS35001) to create Traditional Christmas Carols. Accompanying himself on either banjo or guitar, he sang several familiar songs, including “What Child Is This?,” “The First Noël,” and “Twelve Gates To The City,” as well as more obscure ones. This would have been an ideal album for the singer to record before a live audience that might have sung along and livened up the proceedings; in the studio, with his correct but austere performances, it suggests a relatively bleak Christmas season. (by William Ruhlmann)

Long a seasonal favorite, this collection of 13 charming Christmas carols from French, English, Italian, and African American traditions captures the Christmas spirit with wonderful universality. These international holiday favorites include Twelve Gates to the City, Mary Had a Baby, and The First Noel. “A real alternative to the wall of strings or the overly sweet sound of many Christmas collections.” (by Dirty Line)

TakenFromTheBookletTaken from the booklet

Pete Seeger (vocals, banjo, guitar)

01. ’twas On A Night Like This 3.30
02. Mary Had A Baby 2.46
03. Glory To That Newborn King 2.37
04. What Child Is This? 1.49
05. Rise Up, Shepherd, And Follow 1.40
06. Carol Of The Beasts 2.06
07. Carol Of The Beasts – Instrumental 1.48
08. The First Noel 5.44
09. Behold That Star 2.18
10. Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming 2.00
11. Masters In This Hall 1.37
12. Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming – Instrumental 0.57
13. Twelve Gates To The City 3.26

All songs: Tradtional



Pete Seeger – I Can See A New Day (In Concert) (1964)

FrontCover1I Can See a New Day is Pete Seeger’s fifth album for Columbia Records and, like its four predecessors, was recorded live in concert. But where his previous four Columbia LPs were pegged to specific venues, all in New York City — Story Songs at the Village Gate, The Bitter and the Sweet at the Bitter End, Children’s Concert at Town Hall, and We Shall Overcome at Carnegie Hall — no place of performance is indicated here. The inference is that I Can See a New Day has been assembled from various live tapes, and probably from unused songs recorded at the shows that provided the other albums. In fact, the characteristic echo of Carnegie Hall, clearly audible on many tracks, suggests that a good half of the disc is excerpted from the same June 8, 1963, show that led to We Shall Overcome. But if these are performances that were overlooked the first time around, that is not to say they are PeteSeeger1964_2unworthy. Rather, this is a typical Seeger show, mixing folk standards like the opener, Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” with spirituals (“Oh What a Beautiful City,” “Follow the Drinkin’ Gourd”), and politically oriented material ranging from “Viva la Quince Brigada” (Long Live the 15th Brigade), which recalls the Spanish Civil War and gets a howlingly positive response from what sounds like an audience full of Old Lefties, to the mineworkers’ laments “The Bells of Rhymney” (clearly not from the Carnegie show) and “Mrs. Clara Sullivan’s Letter,” both of which come from poems Seeger set to music. Of course, war is also decried, notably in the old folk song “Mrs. McGrath” (whose son comes back from war without his legs) and “I Come and Stand at Every Door,” the cry of a Hiroshima victim. As all this suggests, the overall tone of the disc is serious and somewhat downcast, with only the title song, “How Can I Keep from Singing,” and the new “Healing River” (co-written by Seeger’s old Weavers bandmate Fred Hellerman) providing some consolation and hope. Nevertheless, the audiences sing along in solidarity, and Seeger is as earnest as ever. (by William Ruhlmann)

PeteSeeger1964Playing the long-necked, five string banjo that was his trademark, Seeger recorded two programmes for the BBC in 1964.

Pete Seeger (banjo, vocals)
Audience (background vocals)

01. This Land Is Your Land (Guthrie) 2.38
02. Oh What A Beautiful City (Traditional) 2.58
03. Healing River (Hekkerman/Minkoff) 1.40
04. Follow The Drinkin’ Gourd (Traditional) 2.25
05. Viva La Quince Brigada (Traditional) 3.27
06. Oh Louisianna (Traditional) 3.33
07. The Bells Of Rhymney (Davies/Seeger) 5.21
08. Go Down Old Hannah (Traditional) 3.58
09. How Can I Keep From Singing (Traditional) 2.59
10. Mrs. McGrath (Traditional) 3.36
11. Mrs. Clara Sullivan’s Letter (Reynolds/Seeger) 3.31
12. (The Ring On My Finger Is) Johnny Give Me (Traditional) 2.26
13. I Come And Stand On Every Door (Hikmet/Seeger) 5.09
14. I Can See A New Day (Rice) 1.46



Pete Seeger – American Folk Songs for Children (1953)

FrontCover1We are sorry to report that Pete Seeger himself passed away yesterday at 94 “after a short illness” (as reported by BBC News). His loss is keenly felt, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Seeger family at this difficult time. Pete was an extraordinary man – singer, songwriter, activist, and far more – but the influence of his life and his music will live on in all of us with whom he shared his gifts. He is well loved and will be sorely missed.

The Pete Seeger Appreciation Page will continue to be hosted in honor and memory of Pete. (taken from the Pete Seeger appreciation website).

The eleven songs on this album were specifically selected from an identically titled book anthology of folk songs for children collected by Seeger’s stepmother, Ruth Crawford Seeger. Pete Seeger renders them plainly and simply, singing and playing and banjo, on a program designed especially (but not solely) for children between three and seven years of age. “Jim Crack Corn,” “Frog Went A-Courting,” and “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain” are some of the better-known tunes on the record, but not all of them are as overly familiar. It’s been reissued on a single-disc CD that also includes a similar Pete Seeger album, 1962’s American Game and Activity Songs for Children. (by Ritchie Unterberger)


Pete Seeger (banjo, vocals)

AlternateFrontCoversAlternate frontcovers

01. Jim Along Josie 2.06
02. There Was a Man and He Was Mad 1.44
03. Clap Your Hands 2.58
04. She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain 1.54
05. All Around The Kitchen 2.01
06. Billy Barlow 2.35
07. Bought Me A Cat 3.11
08. Jim Crack Corn 2.16
09. Train Is A-Coming 3.08
10. This Old Man 2.37
11. Frog Went A-Courting 4.23

All songs: Traditional

PeteSeeger3Thank you and goodbye Pete Seeger: R.I.P.