Image credit: Vicky Sharp
Joining Joe today is iconic folk singer and activist Peggy Seeger.
“ …. must be one of the most complete artists around today.” (The Belfast Review)
“Seeger’s greatest asset is her uncanny ability to dissolve the gap between artist and audience.” (The Irish Times)
“From the moment she stepped on stage, Peggy held every person in that packed auditorium spellbound”. (Tradition Magazine)
Peggy Seeger is totally unique. Sister of Pete Seeger (the great-grandfather of USA folk revivial) and partner of the late Ewan MacColl, theorist and practitioner of UK folk revival), she has carved a special niche for herself in both these countries. Trained in both classical and folk music, her experience spans 55 years of performing, travel and songwriting. She’ll sing an unaccompanied traditional ballad, follow it with a tall tale about a circus high-diver, then launch into a topical song about drugs, war, hormones, politicians, unions, women, love or ecology. A multi-instrumentalist (piano, guitar, 5-string banjo, autoharp, English concertina and Appalachian dulcimer), she is probably best known for her feminist songs (such as Gonna Be an Engineer) and for The Ballad of Springhill, which latter is rapidly becoming regarded as a traditional song.
As well as an amazing musical heritage, Peggy has just released her cover of the classic song “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”
The song was written for her by her lover Ewan MacColl in early 1957. He sang it down a crackling transatlantic phone line to Peggy who had returned to the USA, unwilling to continue an affair with a married man. That was the only time he ever sang the song which went on to become one of the greatest love songs of all time. “It was a hell of a way to woo me back!” says Peggy.