I knew he was knocking on but I was still surprised and saddened by the death of Pete Seeger on Monday, 27 January. I grew up with Pete’s music, especially his recordings with the Weavers – The Weavers at Carnegie Hall had been a childhood favourite.
My Facebook page filled with tributes and postings of his music and I posted plenty of my own. But it was a couple of days later when I remembered his haunting ballad, “Snow”.
Though the lyrics and music are Pete’s own composition, it has an eerie East European folkish feel to it. It’s a worthy companion piece to Ewan MacColl’s “Dirty Old Town”. The hush and melancholy of “Snow” complements the beery good cheer of the Pogues, who popularised the MacColl song. Surely there is room for both in our musical and emotional repertoires…
Pete was 94. Up to the end he was singing at Occupy Wall Street actions and environmental protests. You can read a full obituary here.