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P e t e ...S e e g e r

if i had a song

Pete Seeger & Friends
Seeds: The Songs of Pete Seeger, Vol. 3

(2-CD set, 2003)


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track listing

disc 1: Pete & Friends

1. Oh Sacred World (spoken) itunesbuy
2. Bring Them Home-with Billy Bragg, Ani DiFranco and Steve Earle itunesbuy
3. Trouble at the Bottom-  with Tao Rodriguez-Seeger and Arlo Guthrie itunesbuy
4. The Dove itunesbuy
5. English Is Cuh-ray-zee (live) itunesbuy
6. A Little A'This 'n' That- with Tao Rodriguez-Seeger itunesbuy
7. Maple Syrup Time- with Tao Rodriguez-Seeger itunesbuy
8. Odds On Favorite itunesbuy
9. Estadio Chile itunesbuy
10. Flowers of Peace- with Anne Hills itunesbuy
11. Dr. King on Violence (spoken) itunesbuy
12. Take it from Dr. King itunesbuy
13. Sower of Seeds itunesbuy
14. Visions of Children- with the Anna Crusis Women’s Choir itunesbuy
15. Over the Rainbow itunesbuy
16. Sailing Down My Golden River itunesbuy

disc 2: Friends of Pete

1. A Lucky Musician (spoken) – Pete Seeger itunesbuy
2. Old Devil Time – Pat Humphries itunesbuy
3. Mrs. Clara Sullivan's Letter  – John McCutcheon itunesbuy
4. Who Killed Norma Jean – Janis Ian itunesbuy
5. Jesu. Joy of Man's Desiring – Tony Trischka & Jennifer Kimball itunesbuy
6. Bells of Rhymney  – Dick Gaughan itunesbuy
7. Turn! Turn! Turn!– Martin Simpson & Jessica Radcliffe itunesbuy
8. From Way Up Here– Michele Greene itunesbuy
9. Times A-getting Hard, Boys – Tom Paxton itunesbuy
10. One Man's Hands  – Carolyn Hester itunesbuy
11. Sacco's Letter to his Son– Magpie itunesbuy
12. Spider's Web (natural History)– Peggy Seeger itunesbuy
13. River of my People– Herdman, Hills & Mangsen itunesbuy
14. When I was Beautiful– Last Forever itunesbuy
15. Tomorrow if a Highway– Magpie with Kim and Reggie Harris itunesbuy
16. Which Side Are You On– Natalie Merchant itunesbuy
17. Precious Friend– Holly Near & Ronnie Gilbert itunesbuy
18. To My Old Brown Earth – Pat Humphries itunesbuy
19. 50/50 Chance (spoken) – Pete Seeger itunesbuy

“. . . If you love freedom of speech, and great, real, honest, roots music, this two-disc set is an absolute must-have. It delves into a lifetime of song more than six decades in the making; it is as traditional as it is topical, as new as it is eternal.” –

For most of his life, Pete Seeger has been the musical voice of the world’s conscience. While cultures still collide, while inequality still flourishes, while the earth, air and waterways fill with pollution, the iconic songwriter, musician and political activist just can’t keep from singing out in protest. He knows it is his duty and his guiding principle: “Participation! It’s what all my work has been about.”

In 2003, Appleseed Recordings issued the double-CD Seeds: The Songs of Pete Seeger, Volume 3, the final set in its trilogy of releases celebrating Seeger’s music and its globally warming effects. Appleseed’s previous multi-artist Seeger celebrations – 1998’s 2-CD Where Have All the Flowers Gone: The Songs of Pete Seeger, and If I Had a Song: The Songs of Pete Seeger, Vol. 2, released in 2001 – have been acclaimed as modern folk classics and reaffirmed Seeger’s lasting impact as songwriter, artist, activist, and inspiration to fellow musicians and listeners alike. 

“No other living musician has been at the forefront of more social, political and history changing events,” says Appleseed founder Jim Musselman, who initiated the series and served as its executive producer. “It took a trilogy encompassing five CDs to even begin to touch the depth and breadth of the effect of his music around the world.” Overall, nearly 450 musicians participated in Appleseed’s Seeger series, for which 85 songs were exclusively recorded and produced.

Disc one of Seeds, “Pete & Friends,” contains 14 recent recordings by Pete of songs that he penned, adapted or performed, including some recent songs not previously recorded (“Trouble at the Bottom,” “Visions of Children,” “Sower of Seeds,” and “Take It from Dr. King”). On Pete’s first new release since 1996’s Grammy-winning Pete, he performs solo, with family (grandson and frequent concert accompanist Tao Rodriguez-Seeger and half-sister Peggy Seeger), and musical friends (including solo artists Arlo Guthrie, Anne Hills, and Tom Pacheco).

The second disc presents exclusive recordings of Seeger’s songs by a diverse roster of highly respected folk artists. Janis Ian, Tom Paxton, Natalie Merchant, Holly Near, Pete’s fellow ex-Weaver Ronnie Gilbert, Dick Gaughan (“the Scottish Woody Guthrie”), Peggy Seeger, and others explore some of the lesser-known entries in the Seeger repertoire. The double-CD’s packaging includes a 28-page booklet with extensive liner notes by Pete on the inspiration and history of each song and by Musselman, who has spent countless hours with Seeger in creating the entire three-volume collection. 

Perhaps the most controversial composition on Seeds is “Bring Them Home (If You Love Your Uncle Sam),” an update of one of Seeger’s anti-Vietnam songs that he now applies to the invasion of Iraq. Some new lyrics were added by Appleseed’s Musselman, and Bruce Springsteen inserted some words of his own when performing the song on his 2006 and 2007 “Seeger Sessions” tours. Joined by guest vocalists and fellow activists Billy Bragg, Ani DiFranco and Steve Earle, Pete decries blind jingoistic patriotism while rejoicing in America’s freedom of speech and thought. Ironically, Seeger’s own personal freedoms were challenged during the McCarthy era of the early ’50s, when his refusal to testify about his political affiliations before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) led to a contempt of Congress citation, trial, conviction, and year-long jail term (never served and eventually thrown out of court). 

“Bring Them Home” was one of anti-war three songs Pete recorded this spring as American bombs were falling on Baghdad; “The Dove” and “Flowers of Peace” are also included on the “Pete & Friends” disc. News of the modernized version of “Bring Them Home” triggered a wave of hate mail attacking Seeger’s “disloyalty” to the current administration’s foreign policies, although the song has been released in solidarity with the U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and their families, who have made it clear that it’s time to come home.

“We feel that the song and what Pete says in it have an important message during this time of backlash against entertainers like Tim Robbins and the Dixie Chicks who have simply expressed their views, which is what is needed in a democracy,” Musselman explains. “Pete is someone who has always stood up for the First Amendment.” 

Although peace and understanding are the underlying themes of many of Seeger’s songs on Seeds, its preceding volumes and throughout his repertoire, his subject matter here also ranges from the seasonal (“Maple Syrup Time”), to the somber (a version of the martyred Chilean musician Victor Jara’s “Estadio Chile”) to the wonderfully silly (“English is Cuh-ray-zee”). Seeds contains a live version of Pete and his audience singing “Over the Rainbow,” as well as a collaboration between the song’s lyricist, E.Y. “Yip” Harburg, and Seeger on “Odds On Favorite.” Disc one closes with the tranquil “Sailing Down My Golden River,” in which Pete’s vocal is backed by an orchestra arranged by noted film-scorer Michael Kamen with creative input from Pink Floyd’s leader/guitarist David Gilmour.

Sprinkled throughout Seeds are several brief spoken comments by Pete that emphasize his philosophy of life: everyone can make a difference in the world and has the right and the duty to do so.

As with Appleseed’s first two Seeger celebrations, many of the proceeds from Seeds will be distributed among various social justice and environmental charities.






other releases

Pete Seeger Remembers Woody

Pete Seeger & Lorre Wyatt: A More Perfect Union

Tomorrow's Children

Live in '65

Pete Seeger at 89
where have all the flowers gone
The Songs of Pete Seeger Vol 1
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
if i had a song
The Songs of Pete Seeger Vol 2
If I Had a Song
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