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How Can I Keep From Singing? A Seeger Family Tribute at the Library of Congress

Experience the Event


Pete, Mike, and Peggy Seeger with Family and Special Friends

Following is a concert log with notes as to time codes on the webcast. The concert, including the introduction, is two hours, thirteen minutes, and eighteen seconds long. To find a selection, move the play button along the track to the desired time. When announced, the title of the song is given, if not announced, the first line is used.

Biographical information on the Seegers may be found on the page About the Seeger Family.

Play the Webcast of the Seeger Family Concert [Running Time 2:13:15]

Image: Pete Seeger
Pete Seeger performs at the evening concert, March 16, 2007. Detail of a photo by Robert Corwin.

Begin concert log:

Introductory remarks by Librarian of Congress, Dr. James Billington, who welcomes Senator Harry Reid. He talks about the Library’s Music Division planned presentations. He then talks about Charles Seeger, and the history of the Seeger family generally. The Librarian presents a photo montage of the Seeger’s history to Pete Seeger, Mike Seeger, Peggy Seeger, Kate Seeger, and Anthony Seeger.

Mike Seeger begins the concert:

Mike performs a holler with the refrain "Can’t you hear me calling?" (at 0:9:20) followed by “The Raftsman’s Song” (12:00).
Mike plays a tune on the mouth harp and sings “Did You Ever See the Devil Uncle Joe?” with the last verse in mouth music (14:00).
He plays a tune from North Carolina on “quills” (pan pipes) and rattle and sings: “Blow the Horn, Blow” (16:47).
Mike plays a tune on the banjo, “The Walking Boss” (20:00).
Mike plays violin and harmonica and sings an abolitionist song from Kentucky, “We are Stolen Soles from Africa” (24:20)

Peggy and Mike Seeger:

Peggy Seeger plays the Banjo with Mike Seeger on guitar on ”Fod” and “I Went Down to the Mowing Field” (33:00).
Peggy plays guitar with Mike on autoharp on a ballad: “When First to this Country I Came” (36:20).

Peggy Seeger:

Peggy plays the banjo and sings “Logan County Jail” (40:20).
Peggy plays the guitar and sings a Mississippi boat song, “John Gilbert” (45:45).
Peggy sings, a cappella, “Hush Now Little Baby,” a song by Bob Bawson (49:50).
Peggy sings “George Went to Kyoto” a cappella (50:40).
Peggy reads three humorous entries from her scrap book (51:40).
Peggy sings song she wrote, “Everyone Knows You Can’t Trust A Woman” and plays the guitar (52:50).
Peggy sings a song she wrote, “Bring Me Home” (55:45).
Peggy plays the piano and sings a new song she wrote, “How I long for Peace,” accompanied by The Short Sisters (Fay Baird, Kate Seeger, and Kim Wallach), with Sonya Cohen Cramer (the set up and introduction is at 1:00:00 the song begins at 1:01:28).

Pete, Mike, and Peggy Seeger together (various instruments):

“The Candidate’s a Dodger” (song collected from Emma Dusenbury) (1:06:30) and
“Old Joe Clarke” (1:11:05).

Pete Seeger:

Pete introduces and sings a song that he wrote,“Don’t Say it Can’t be Done,” a protest song written in response to Sept 11, 2001, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955. (1:14:30).

Pete talks about his parents teaching classical music. He tells how they came to collect and study folk music. He describes his father's career. He explains how his father came to be interested in communism and then became disillusioned about it because of Stalin. He talks about meeting Woody Guthrie when he was a child. He quotes his father and offers his own opinion on scholarship, politics, science, religion, peace, and war. He tells a brief story about General Curtis LeMay. He concludes with a "definition of an expert." (1:20:05)

Pete performs “Over the Rainbow” as a sing along with guitar (1:31:33)
Pete introduces his niece Sonja Cohen Cramer. He describes traveling in Japan and finding a poem written by Noriko Ibaraki that was the basis for the following song. Sonja Cohen Cramer sings “When I Was Most Beautiful,” the author's English translation of the poem that Pete Seeger put to music, while Pete accompanies her on the guitar. (The introduction begins at 1:35:30. The song begins at 1:36:49.)

The Short Sisters: Fay Baird, Kate Seeger, and Kim Wallach (Pete Seeger introduces them at 1:39:50)

The Short Sisters perform “Quite Early Morning,” by Pete Seeger, accompanied by Pete on the banjo and Dean Spencer on harmonica (at 1:40:13).
The Short Sisters sing an a capella piece: “The Calendar” by Pete Seeger (who introduces the song and then sits and listens) (1:45:10).
The Short Sisters perform “Dear Oakie” (1:48:20) and “Carie Bell,” a song from the Georgia Sea Islands (1:51:30).

All performers and family sing (at 1:55:55 Pete calls them to the stage and gives an introduction):

“Last Month of the Year” sing along (1:58:08)
“We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder” (2:03:25)
“Skip to my Lou” (2:08:20)

Peggy Seeger gets the last word. (2:13:00)

(2:13:18 End)

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