In 2009 on the occasion of Pete Seeger's 90th birthday & the Bush Music Club's 55th, we sent him birthday greetings accompanied by copies of the articles in Singabout,1963, & Australian Tradition, 1964 & received the following reply, accompanied by a copy of his revised songbook, which Bob Bolton reviewed in the Singabout insert of Mulga Wire, Dec 2009.
Have all the Flowers Gone
– A Singalong Memoir
Edition, 2009 plus CD
Sing Out! Publication with W.W. Norton & Co., New York &
is a wondrous book … 320 pages of story, verse, reminiscences,
music, photos and autobiographical tales from the long and fruitful
life of Pete Seeger – all bound up in an American 11”
format song book.
is the revised and expanded third edition of Pete’s book,
originally published in 1993 and then revised and expanded in 1997 ..
And a long way down the track from the little blue ‘Pete Seeger
Song Book‘, the remnants of which, having survived my wanderings of
the 1960s, are now held together which a bulldog clip so they don’t
disintegrate all over my bookshelf!
is much more than a song book. Pete gives the background, the sources
of inspiration, the politics of the days of many seminal songs …
the conscious (and, often unconscious) sources of tunes, rhythms and
presentations that seem to many of us to have been around all our
lives. As a consummate musician – growing up in a family of
musicians and music educators – Pete’s knowledge of his sources
shames most of us who seek to find and draw upon the traditional
music forms of our own regions. As a man driven by moral awareness,
he is often forced to admit to “stealing” tunes … either
unconsciously (which is fine, within the “folk process”) - but
also being aware of the appropriation – when the tune was just
right for a noble purpose!
the sources (and they are all detailed in this magnificent volume!)
Pete gives the music for every variant … from how he wrote it –
to the versions developed in groups he sang with – to the inspired
changes often made by other groups whose popular releases are often
the ones we all know … and frequently adopted by Pete!
aiming to work through all the variants and developments detailed in
the book will appreciate the included CD, which has musical examples
from some 267 of the book’s songs. It is certainly a long way from
my 1960s struggles trying to turn a rudimentary grasp of guitar into
a convincing rendition of the “dots” on the crumpled pages of my
little blue book!
I can’t find any evidence of a local distributor for this wonderful
musical memoir. It is published for Sing Out! By W.W. Norton and can
be ordered direct from <www.singout.org> … for US$24.95 +