My late mom used to sing me a song called Where Have All the Flowers Gone. It’s such a sweet poignant song that reminds me of dusk and summer, of petals getting blown to nowhere. It was not decades later when I learned it’s written by the late Pete Seeger who passed away today. I heard a lot of his songs (without knowing him) because I was raised by people who grew up after the Second World War. So my upbringing was a combination of the old ways and the love for exploring new things. Judy Collins was also a popular artist in my childhood. So I get to hear Turn Turn Turn a many times in the house. My cousins were huge fans of folk music.
I started venturing into Celtic music in my late teens. He was associated with banjo and 12-string guitar. He has a continuing powerful influence to other singer/songwriters with names like Billy Bragg, Jackson Browne, Donovan, , Nanci Griffith, Indigo Girls, Tom Paxton, Bonnie Raitt, Martin Simpson, and Bruce Springsteen are associated with him.
I think his impact to me is more as a songwriter than a performer. His songs get better with time. The distinctive folk elements in his songs tell you: this is how to write a song. Pete Seeger will be sorely missed. It’s characteristic of people who carve their names in everyone’s heart. Life is a collage of all things that you’ve heard, seen and felt. His songs were the songs of the best years of my life. How could I let those go?
When I feel this heaviness in my heart I go into this little corner and listen to the songs of my childhood. And like magic the pain disappears. Where Have All the Flowers Gone indeed? Life is a mystery that is temporary. But memories are forever.
Podcast 22 comes with a live concert featuring The Gloaming.
The Gloaming-Set at the National Concert Hall of Ireland(Live concert)
Robbie MacInnis-Massacre of Glencoe (ft. Robbie MacInnis)
Eivør-Hounds Of Love
Once A Tree-Light Me Up
Paula-I Could Be