Peggy Quotes

Her success lies largely with her ability to work and write within traditional modes. Many of these songs sound as though they have been around over the centuries. - Ira Mayer, New York Times

Peggy Quotes 2

First off, Seeger's a daunting multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, autoharp, banjo, piano, concertina, and of course singing. However, she doesn't just play, she demonstrates a fluency surprising even for an overachiever on the banjo, and her vocals can be either bird-on-a-wire delicate or gusty, ringing with authority and surprising projection.
- Mark S. Tucker


Period Pieces Reviews

"Flag waving: 'Our songs, which are basically protest songs, seem to be constantly contemporary,' says Peggy Seeger, whose new album, the archly titled Period Pieces, has just been released on Rykodisc's Tradition Records imprint. 'Until the whole society changes, these are problems we're always going to have,' Seeger continues. 'We've had women's movement after women's movement ... it's a tragedy. It's so sad.'

"The album, which is subtitled Women's songs for men and women collects both vintage and new recordings of her original folk compositions dealing with women's issues. For decades, Seeger has been one of the most authoritative voices in American and English folk. One could say that her prominence lies in the family: her brothers are Pete and Mike Seeger and she was married to the late Ewan MacColl, the leader of the UK folk movement...

"While she is acknowledged as an esteemed interpreter of traditional material and a gifted instrumentalist, she is perhaps best known for her observant, playful and caustic original songs about women. Her new album kicks off with a new recording of 'I'm Gonna Be an Engineer', a 1970 composition she wrote for Britain's Festival of Fools. 'I'm chiefly known for "I'm Gonna be an Engineer",' she says. 'It's got so damn many words. Anthems are usually easy to sing. They don't have so many words ... [but] it seems to have touched a lot of women.'

"According to Seeger, songs in the vein of 'Engineer' continue to account for about a quarter of her live repertoire. However, though Seeger has released 18 albums, a number of which remain in print, none of them focus exclusively on that kind of material. 'I had no women's album that I considered up to date,' she says. 'I was singing those songs and I wanted to put them on a CD.'

"Period Pieces features songs written from the early 60s through the late 80s, some of the recordings date from sessions during the 80s but most were newly cut this year. They take in a wide variety of issues, ranging from contraception to domestic violence, from women at work to the role of women in strikes. While some numbers, such as 'Winnie and Sam' and 'Reclaim the Night', are especially unflinching, the majority are characterized by a buoyancy and humor not usually associated with political song.

"'Many of the women singers are very strident,' Seeger says. 'The trick is to make music that men and women can respect but which is presented in a feminine way ... I do not want to intimidate or to make men think I'm hostile. It's a tricky business.' Asked about the prominence of a wealth of popular and successful female performers in the 90s, Seeger replies, 'I think this is part of an entire world shift ... I think we'll see women taking over huge sections of control. The world is run by men ... but we let 'em.' She continues, 'Women are going to come up and say "We don't like the way the world is run." More and more women are coming up in more and more fields and saying "We don't like what is being said, we don't like the way it's being said."'

"However, don't expect to see Seeger getting up onstage at Lilith Fair anytime soon. She says she doesn't know anything about the all-female touring festival. And when asked which contemporary female artists she enjoys, she replies, 'Oh, my goodness. I'm very difficult to please with songwriters. For relaxation I listen to Patsy Cline and Ella Fitzgerald.'"

Chris Morris, Billboard, October 7, 1998

Personal tools