sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

May 4, 2009

monday music at midnight: happy birthday!
posted by soe 11:08 pm

Happy birthday to American icon Pete Seeger, who turned 90 on Sunday.

Pete and Bruce

I have been lucky enough to see Pete several times. While the concert before Barack Obama’s inauguration, when the shot above was taken, was amazing, nothing will ever compare to the concert of 2001. Pete was due to perform as part of a music and politics festival at Wesleyan the night of Sept. 11. Understandably, the concert was postponed, but two days later Pete drove to Connecticut and performed before a room of people still reeling from the week’s events. We were broken and numb, hurt and alone, but, somehow, Pete, with his spry step and his banjo and his unshakable belief in the healing powers of music and community, forced us to sing away our heartsickness and enabled us to start moving forward. I will be forever grateful for that evening of grace-filled togetherness.

And in that vein, I offer you some of Pete’s music. If you know the words, he’d be delighted to know you’re singing along.

John Gorka’s birthday cover of Pete Seeger’s “The Water Is Wide”:

Smithsonian Folkways’ Birthday tribute video in honor of Pete Seeger:

Pete Seeger leads all of Madison Square Garden in the singing of “Amazing Grace” at his 90th birthday party/concert Sunday:

Happy birthday, Pete!

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