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Tag: Buffy Sainte-Marie

January 28, 2014: A special tribute to Pete Seeger…

When I went to bed last night, a rumor was circulating on Facebook that Pete Seeger had died. I went where I usually go, out to the larger Internet, to substantiate the rumor, and I couldn’t find anything to prove it was true, so I went to sleep. This morning, Morning Edition confirmed what a sizeable chunk of my FB Friends now know is true.

Pete Seeger, Songwriter and Champion of Folk Music, Dies at 94

My father is largely responsible for my introduction to folk music. Without his reel to reel tape recorder, I wouldn’t have known about Pete, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Phil Ochs, Peter, Paul and Mary, Woody Guthrie or any of the other musicians who made up the fabric of my early childhood.

search for Pete Seeger on You Tube generates hundreds, if not thousands of links to his work. For me, a visit to the Hudson Valley as a young child (in Woodstock, after THE concert) landed my closest association with the man as I recall sitting on his lap. I also remember watching his series Rainbow Quest on PBS, when they broadcast the series in 1967-68.

[Full movie requires rental from YouTube or other site.]

Last year, I made a point of attending the Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival and I got to thank him again, in person. Didn’t have enough time to say it more than once, but I noticed he was all over that festival. I saw Toshi, once, while we were waiting for the Richie Havens memorial to begin, and I knew then that she was quite ill, but I also saw that he stayed with her until that concert started. Their devotion to each other, for just shy of 70 years, was inspirational.

He remained active right up through this year, but was too ill to attend a parade he helped organize:

Seeger’s dream for King comes true in Beacon; activist had to cancel appearance

So, in the spirit of Twofer Tuesday, in this special edition, have a second cut, with Buffy Sainte-Marie, who I also saw last summer at the festival. Explore the clips on YouTube. And take comfort that the folk movement isn’t dead so long as we pass our values on to the generations to come. After all, that’s how the music remains with us. Pass it on.

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November 10: Buffy Sainte-Marie ~ Universal Soldier

In June this year, I took a trip up to New York’s Hudson Valley for the Clearwater Hudson River Revival. I have been meaning to go for years, but when I found out that Buffy Sainte-Marie was one of the headliners, I couldn’t resist any longer.

My father had her music on reel-to-reel tape, and I’ve got it on both vinyl and CD. This song is probably her most famous. And I’ve seen her several times in the past, as a child and an adult.

She is proud of her Cree heritage, as well as her Canadian First Nations roots and pacifism. Her music was part of the early soundtrack of my life.

I should have remembered before becoming involved with a military man, but I forgot my roots. This is as much a reminder to stay true to your beliefs as it is a cautionary tale of the trouble with the military, especially today. 

It seems fitting to recall the struggle  for pacifism on the eve of Veteran’s Day, as it is also important to remember that there are still soldiers in combat across the world. In the end she says simply, “This is not the way we put an end to war.”

I agree.

If you’re not familiar with Buffy’s version, it might be because you know the 1965 version Donovan made famous.

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