When my son was littler, and we had many scary-feeling changes going on in our lives, one thing that regularly made him feel relaxed and at home was the sound of Pete Seeger’s voice, singing songs for children. Of all of the purveyors of music in the world, he was the first one that my son seemed to be a genuine fan of, and this fact still makes me happy (pretty sure it makes his dad happy as well).
I grew up with that voice, too. I remember the sight of the 19th-century cargo sloop replica that everyone called “Pete Seeger’s boat” from the shoreline of Sandy Hook, New Jersey when I was a little girl. One of my best memories as an adult was a weekend of shows paying homage to Woody Guthrie in Cleveland, ending with a massive sing-along of “Hobo’s Lullaby,” which Seeger warmly and joyfully led (written by Goebel Reeves, Pete said it was Woody’s favorite song).
Just last week, this song (which I have on one of my kid-oriented playlists) came on when we were slogging through snowy traffic on the way to school. I got teary. It reminded me so much of the aspiration prayer of Shantideva’s Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, which we are presently studying at Columbus KTC.
The recording ends with a chorus of “so long, been good to know you,” and indeed it has.
Thanks for everything, Pete.
It Could Be a Wonderful World (by UltimateSerge)