Some perspective for those who may not know of Pete Seeger:
We too had tapes of Seeger when our kids were small. One had “I had a rooster”, and when it got close to the lion roaring my toddler son would get hysterical in fear! We had to FF past it. We took him to see Pete and his grandson Tao perform outdoors at the World Financial Center, I believe the summer before 9/11. It was magical. RIP Pete. You set a standard for a life well lived.
Pete was always just plain having fun performing, and it was obvious to everyone who saw and heard him. That didn’t mean he wasn’t deadly serious about the message, but he had a fine grasp of the difference between serious and solemn.
Rehearsing with Pete was sorta interesting, though. He simply couldn’t resist an opportunity to teach, so rehearsal always included some time for him to tell us why the song was significant…
When I was 4ish in the mid-70s I listened to his Children’s Concert at Town Hall record on my kiddie record player, obsessively. Abiyoyo was my favorite.
My parents took me to his concert, a typical outdoor folk-on-the-grass sort of thing. Halfway through I was crying; no Abiyoyo (was not a kid’s concert). My father took me in hand up to the stage, and in a break, Pete noticed us and leaned down, and my father helped me stutter out my request; he gave the most twinkly of smiles and played it. One of my fondest, fondest memories of sheer joy found in music.
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